Tuna Industry: Speech in the Pacific Tuna Forum 2017
Since my first time in the Pacific back in 2010, it has been always a pleasure to be back to any of the Pacific Island Countries. In this occasion, for second time I have been invited to be a speaker at the Pacific Tuna Forum 2017 (PTF), which is an honor and pleasure. This time will be in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. In my opinion, The PTF together with the Bangkok tuna conference and the European tuna conference are the most important hubs that you can attend to be updated about the tuna business in all related aspects.
Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) fisheries sector represents the third revenue after its oil and gas sectors. The tuna industry is the fisheries golden egg. Around 20 per cent of the world’s total tuna stock is found in PNG’s 2.5 million square kilometre Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The fisheries sector has grown from a dependency on access fees in the early 1980s to a more diversified sector, with significant downstream processing today. Annually, about three-quarters of a million tonnes of tuna are caught in PNG waters. Most of these are landed in other countries for further processing.
PNG has a long-term goal of processing in-country 100% of the tuna catch from within its EEZ. The increased emphasis on the fisheries industry also reflects National Government priorities. The surge in investment has been motivated in part by the advantages of bringing the canning process closer to the Pacific’s fishing grounds.
The country’s Vision 2050 strategy makes frequent reference to the fisheries sector as an area of the economy requiring more development if PNG is to diversify beyond its oil and gas revenue base.
My speech is about “social accountability and crew welfare in the tuna value chain”, it will review global labour initiatives in the harvesting or tuna fishing area, I will share a social impact assessment tool developed to assess the compliance of fishing operations against the International Labour Organization & United Nations convention guidance and SA8000 standard. Particular emphasis is given to the management system and control of supplier in order to ensure equality and equitable opportunities to benefit, protecting human rights and labor conditions onboard.