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List of Current Impact Projects

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Project Overviews

Rural Coastal Fisheries Development Project

A coastal fishery is the main means of providing food and income for the coastal communities of Papua New Guinea. However, due to poor infrastructure and markets and lack of credit facilities many coastal communities merely fish for their own consumption and the surplus is retailed on an adhoc basis.

To address issues affecting the coastal communities in terms of food security issues, reduction of dependence on imported foodstuff and paying special attention to address issues pertaining to the sustainability management of marine resources, the Government of PNG identified the Rural Coastal Fisheries Development Programme during the National Indicative Programme of the 8th EDF.

A grant funding of 6 (six) million euros equivalent to K24 million was allocated with the main objective to contribute to a sustainable improvement in the welfare of rural coastal fisheries in PNG by increasing rural families incomes through greater participation in the sustainable harvesting and improved marketing of marine resources. Seven provinces; Madang, Morobe, Western, Central, New Ireland and Bougainville provinces were selected as the project intervention sites to support small scale fishing enterprises.

The project is implemented by the National Fisheries Authority and working directly with the seven Provincial Governments of Madang, Morobe, Central, New Ireland Bougainville and Western Provinces, Private Sector Partners, and the village communities in the seven provinces.

Commencing officially in 2003, the project is for duration of five years but will now end in 2008 after an extension was granted in 2005.

The RCFDP is implementing a number of activities which include: Infrastructure, Provision of Equipment and Boats, Deployment of Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD), Training, Private Sector Partners, Provision of Finance through three types of credit loans and Sustainable Resource Management and Studies.

Apart from the infrastructure development, which is the construction of four fish markets, the basic aim is to promote development through private sector initiatives. A line of credit backed by an initial loan scheme has been established through banks and private financial institutions to enable small fishing enterprises and groups to purchase boats, fishing gear, ice plants and establishing fish processing facilities as well as providing assistance for marine aquaculture. The project acts as a credit guarantor to communities who do not have access to capital.

Various training programs are available under the RCFDP to provide various skills to the people benefiting from the credit facilities to enable them to fully realize the full benefit of sustainable managed marine resources. Other training provided is to the boat beneficiaries to assist them to manage their business and resources effectively and profitably.

The RCFDP departs from the traditional fisheries project offering a new and challenging alternative approach to development of the fisheries sector in PNG. With its unique feature of directing its support through the private sector, it is providing “access to success” for small-scale fishermen and in the process creating a new class of small and medium sized fisheries enterprises to complement the current growth in commercial and industrial fisheries.

The objective of the project will be achieved through four expected outcomes:

(1) Increased landings of finfish and other under-exploited marine resources. Several activities will ensure this output is achieved and there are as follows;

1.1 Provision of appropriate locally built fishing boats and production equipment which includes boats, fishing gear, ice boxes, pontoons, cages with the project acting as the credit provider through the provision of three credit facilities.

Micro-credit: this loan package is geared to meet the needs for fishing gear, iceboxes etc. Loans under this package would be a direct benefit to individual beneficiaries and are managed and run through either a micro-credit scheme, Savings and Loans Society or the Rural Development Bank.

Criteria include:

• Have a record of active engagement in fishing and skilled in capture methods and post harvest care
• Be a member of the Fishermen’s Association and have the support of the PSP
• Have a selling and buying relationship with a buyer
• Demonstrate a willingness to engage in the project as an entrepreneur
• Have a viable business plan

Starter Package: for the purchase of production units of boats and gear; culture units – pontoons, ponds by the target beneficiaries. Two types of fishing boats (23 foot outboard dory and Ela 82 or the 27 foot inboard dory), fully fitted with fishing and safety gears are provided at 0% interest rate. Payment for the boats is given directly to the building constructor to construct and deliver to the recipients. Only four provinces benefit from this package; Madang, Morobe, Central and New Ireland provinces.

Criteria for this package:

• Be a full-time rural fishermen or fish farmer
• Be an incorporated entity
• Have a viable business plan
• Have the support of the Fishing Association and the Provincial Loans Committee
• Have considerable marine fishing experience
• Be willing to engage full-time in fishing activities


Major Credit Line: this package is designed for indirect inputs and is for supporting infrastructure development such as ice plants and fish processing facilities. Loans under this facility are run through a commercial bank at less than the normal commercial rate. An initial Major Loans Committee screens applications and if approved undergo a second screening by the ANZ bank who then makes the ultimate decision to reject or endorse an application.

Criteria for this package:

• Be a current business operating in the country at the project intervention site.
• Be willing to take out a loan under the project for the provision of support service to the project and its clients.

1.2. Deployment of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) in three provinces to assist fishermen to maximise production and the efficiency of fishing effort.

1.3. Various training in seamanship, fishing skills, fish handling, small business management, processing and export marketing for fishing families and PSP


(2) Improve profitability and values of marine products

To improve the profitability and value of marine products, training is provided through the NFC to improve fish handling, marketing and distribution. The provision of major credit facility is also available to allow for business to purchase support equipment such as ice making machines and fish processing facilities. The RCFDP will be commissioning studies into cost reduction and operational efficiency to assist people who are in the fisheries business.

(3) Rational development of coastal resources to facilitate an increase in sustainable production.

Under this output trainings were conducted for provincial fisheries officers to develop community resource use plans.

Monitoring and assessment of production data is also obtained from the logbooks of the boat recipients. A Rural Participatory Assessment was conducted to obtain socio-economic data to assess the impact of the project before, during and after the project interventions.
The project is conducting awareness programs on the radios and through the Solwara Nuis to keep its stakeholders updated on the project activities and maintain awareness on marine resources management issues.

(4) Better access to internal and export markets

Under this output the following activities are taking place. This includes:

4.1. Four simple fish markets will be constructed in Port Moresby, Buka, Kavieng and Lae to provide retail outlets for fishermen and their women folk to retail their catches in these clean and safe outlets. Once completed, private entrepreneurs under management and maintenance contracts will manage and maintain the markets and its facilities. These markets will strictly be for the retail of marine products only.

4.2. A study on improved market and market linkages study was conducted in 2005. This study is part of the Project’s strategy to pursue development of capture sector in parallel with infrastructure development in the post harvest sector. In order to be successful, it is important that PNG should be able to access export markets as well as providing marine products to the domestic markets.

The purpose of this study was to conduct a thorough analysis of opportunities and threats to marine products development in the country. The study will look at developing a strategy plan for market development concentrating on the active involvement of the private sector in fishery sector development; Market demands and trends were identified through existing literature on export markets and through various consultations with the main exporters to Europe; and a transport economic model. The economic model will identify the current situation and identify needs for types of, and location of critical facilities and cost-reduction transport strategies.

An analysis of the up and downstream effects of market development was carried out. For the upstream effects identification of needs for input supply to the near coast fishery as well as the down stream effects of improve landing sites, post harvest facilities on land including simple fish markets etc. The existing legislation was also looked at with regard to international trade, export and product standards. The study looked at providing direction at policy level within areas such as WTO related aspects and implementation of international valid products standards and quality assurance procedures. EU standards and procedures as well as the effect of the Cotonou Agreement on the penetration of PNG Seafood’s products to the EU market will also be taken into account. Freighting companies were consulted to look into the existing freight rates structures with a view to provide recommendations on negotiable strategies. An assessment will be made on the potential for the development of new seafood products based on the species identified as having commercial interest.

4.3. Three more studies will be conducted in 2006 focusing on Increased Market Access, Assist achievement of international quality standards and promotion and facilitation of private sector investment.


On the whole this project is geared towards the promotion of small scale artisanal fishing in the rural coastal communities selected to participate in this project, by generating income-earning opportunities and at the same time enhancing the private sector partners involved in fish processing and marketing. 

Rural Coastal Fisheries DevIMPACT
Prawn BioEconomic Research Project

Prawn BioEconomic Research Project

Project Title: Economic Performance and Management of the Gulf of Papua Prawn Fishery (GoPPF).

Project Description

This bioeconomic research project involves a careful analytical assessment of the economics of the GoPPF along with alternative management options and the impact of a small boat (inshore) fishery in the GoPPF. The goal of this research project is to determine the effort and catch level that both maximizes the social rate of return to the fishery and guarantees that the prawn fishery industry survives and is profitably maintained at sustainable levels. Recommendations on the suitable management approach, including a cost recovery of the management system will be provided for the GoPPF and hence forming the basis of proper management of all of Papua New Guinea’s fisheries resources.


The main objectives of the project are to :

  • To understand the financial, biological and economic characteristics of the Gulf of Papua prawn fishery.

  • To conduct a bioeconomic analysis to assess the economic performance of the fishery and to determine the optimal level of effort and catch to maximize sustainable fishery returns and promote efficiency, thus improving the well being of the people of PNG through proper management of its natural fisheries resources.

  • To quantify and assess various management regimes for the control of the fishery, including devices for an efficient cost recovery management program.

  • To assess the impact of a possible small boat (inshore) fishery on the fishery as a whole.

  • To build research capacity for continued economic research and management of fisheries resources in PNG.


Project Outline of the Economic Component:

  1. Preparation of data gathering and collation questionnaire. A standard format questionnaire has been compiled to gather the economic data from the industry (vessels) that would be used on all consultations' during the survey. The questionnaire has been completed and was scheduled till end of July 2004.

  2. Liaison with the prawn industry and government institutions. Notice to the prawn vessel owners, registrar of companies (IPA) and the IRC revenue management division (exports) formally informing them of this project's requirements and seek their cooperation have been sent out. A workshop was also held at Loloata from 2nd to 3rd December 2003 regarding the project and all those involved in the project, including ACIAR, CSIRO, ANU, NFA and the industry (vessels) representatives participated and are fully aware of the project. The project’s Assistant Economic Research Officer is currently liaising with the prawn industry (operators) to collect and collate required data that are useful in simulating the bioeconomic model. Data collection and collation is nearing completion the Assistant Economic Research Officer is currently entering some data that have been gathered from relevant government institutions and the industry. The timeframe allocated for data collection and collation is by end of July 2004 and that has been taken into account by the Assistant Economic Research Officer, but due to the slow response of the industry (operators), the timeframe looks very limited.

  3. Recruitment of a Research Assistant. A Research Assistant - Economics has been recruited to support the economics component on full time basis on the collection and collation of bioeconomic data for the economic modeling. He will be on a short-term consultancy basis with ACIAR, NFA, ANU, CSIRO and the industry. He is currently assisting the PNG Project Leader and the NFA Projects Co-ordinator in liaising with the prawn industry. Liaison with IPA, IRCC, NFA and 42% of the prawn industry have been completed and relevant data are in the process of being entered by the Assistant Economic Research Officer. The timeframe given for the completion of this requirement was beginning of August 2004 and this is on target.

  4. Assessment of the profitability of the GoPP Fishery. The estimation of key parameters to calibrate the bioeconomic model and assess the profitability of the fishery is currently at its preparatory stage and has been scheduled till end of April 2004.

  5. Bioeconomic Model Simulation. The project is yet to simulate the bioeconomic model, industry structure, profitability, and fishery rate of return and is also yet to incorporate updated biological information into the NFA database. This has yet to commence and has been scheduled till end of June 2005.

  6. Development of management and policy options. Evaluation of optional management tools and estimation of the impact on fishery rate of return and industry structure is also a focus of this project. To date this has not yet commenced and has been scheduled till end of October 2005.

  7. Assessment of impact of a small boat (inshore) fishery. This project will also standardize the bioeconomic and industry model to account for an inshore fishery the GPPF that will be used to analyse the impact of a small boat (inshore) fishery and explore appropriate management options. This component of the project has been scheduled till end of December 2005 and has not yet commenced

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