EDWIN ESPEJO | Hybrid News Ltd
The $37.6 million, 200-metric ton capacity canning plant, PNG’s largest, will bring to eight the number canneries in tuna-rich PNG.
Thai Union is the world’s second largest tuna canner and Thailand is also the world’s largest canned tuna producer.
PNG recently said it had overtaken the Philippines as the world’s second biggest producer of canned tuna. Majestic Seafoods will bring the total daily canned tuna production in PNG to more than 1,200 metric tons.
The Philippines produces an average of 750 metric tons of canned tuna a day.
Filipino tuna fishing companies began to establish operations in PNG in the late 1990s following declining tuna catches in Philippine waters. The first tuna canning plant opened in 1997.
At the turn of the century, PNG began restricting tuna fishing within its territorial waters. Today, it only allows access to its fishing grounds if foreign companies set up canning and processing plants.
PNG lies in the middle of the tuna migratory path that stretches from the Atlantic and Indian oceans and ends up in the Sulu Sea southwest of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the Deep Sea Mining Campaign says PNG’s fishing industry could be jeopardised by mining for gold and copper in the Bismarck Sea.
The world’s first deep sea mining project, Nautilus Minerals’ Solwara 1, is poised to begin but is facing mounting opposition in coastal communities.