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While the issue of PNG flagged fishing vessels moving out of PNG’s onshore processing periphery is a concern, Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) officials believe it will be a huge gamble that could cost them the European market.
FFA Trade and Development adviser Jope Tamani, while confirming the movements of vessels out of PNG’s registry of flagged fishing vessels, said this may not be the best decision they have made.
“You will find some of them with a Vanuatu flag now, you will find some of them with FSM flag,” he said.
“I have just had a meeting with four vessels from PNG that are now with FSM (Federated States of Micronesia) flag.
“What they need to do is that they have to deregister from the registrations authority (National Maritime Safety Authority), the government agency that registers vessels.
“To be reflagged you have to deregister and then you go back to another country and you reapply.”
He said all PNG flag vessels, in the approval it is for Papua New Guinea to supply fish, it goes to onshore processors in the country and the products are eligible to go to the Europe market.
“When they deregister from Papua New Guinea all that privilege is gone.
“They are going to go back to that country and reapply and if that country is in the list then they will go through the process with that country to put them onto the list so that the fish that they catch will be eligible, otherwise you lose.
“The biggest disadvantage of companies going out of PNG is that if you go to Vanuatu or FSM your fish cannot make it to the European Union.
“Because they are not an EU approved country and that is the biggest selling point of PNG at the moment,” Tamani said.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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