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PNG Island Manus Wants Its Own Tuna Cannery

The Governor of the PNG province Manus, Charlie Benjamin, supports the idea to set up a tuna cannery in the maritime province to process all the tuna that is caught in his zone.

The governor told the media during an interview at the fourth Pacific regional tuna forum in the Solomon Islands that most people don’t realise the important contribution that his province provided in terms of fisheries.

He said that for that reason there must be some amendment to the National Fisheries Authority Act to make it inclusive for the people of Manus to benefit from the tuna that makes up the bulk of the tuna catch in the country.

Benjamin said that this was a very important issue because most of the tuna that is caught in Manus waters were taken to Lae and Madang for downstream processing.

He said that while tuna may be migratory, it is safe to say it is caught in the waters of Manus and yet the people of the province never benefit.

Most tuna is taken from the sea within the boundary of the province.

Benjamin said that the provincial administration under his leadership are in talks with some prominent tuna industry players to work towards setting up the cannery and support the local economy bring in more business spin-off activities and employment to the people of Manus.

He said that when it comes to extractive industries, landowners make claims or even benefit from revenue that is generated from the project while the people of Manus never benefit.

Benjamin said he has nothing against the leaders of the two provinces that currently host the tuna canneries but has urged them to work together.