The Malaysia-based INFO-Fish information and data hub on Asia-Pacific Fisheries and Fish products is a core part of the Pacific Tuna Forum’s energy.

Driven in partnership with the National Fisheries Authority of PNG, the Pacific Tuna Forum, now in its 8th year, is preceded by a media training partnership to help journalists registered to cover the Forum, do what they do best without getting snared in technical terms and jargon.

INFO Fish Lead Dr Nawin Rajah shared some Quick Q n A insights with PIF Public Affairs Adviser Lisa Williams-Lahari at last week’s media training event in Kokopo and says if countries make the right decisions and manage challenges and opportunities through current trends, the future’s bright for Pacific trade in tuna and fisheries to 2050.

Q- You just did a big presentation on the concepts, the huge universe that is reporting tuna and trade in Asia and the Pacific. Where does PNG sit in all that- how important is that story to our journalists of Papua New Guinea?

NR- Great question. Papua New Guinea stands at the forefront of the tuna industry. We have a lot of endowment of resources over here. There are certain challenges that’s happening in the fishing industry, especially with regards to sustainable fishing issues that Papua New Guinea should pay more attention and in saying so, the strengths that they have, especially the core competencies with regards to leveraging on the resources here, would set them in tune for you know, being a market player within the fisheries industry that I am very confident of.

Q–And with Pacific Tuna Forum coming up in a few days, what are the key issues they are interested in reporting, just from what you’ve seen and experienced here this week?

NR- NFA and INFO-Fish are bringing great speakers together during the forum to highlight various issues and trends that the Pacific region and Papua New Guinea can use towards enhancing the industry as a whole. This involves talking about the recent trends in how digital technology and artificial intelligence are used in order to create a more competitive environment for the fisheries industry to thrive in. So I believe that this Pacific Tuna Forum is a collaborative effort, where all experts come together to share their knowledge and expertise in that matter.

Q– There’s also been discussions around forecasting the future, the Blue Pacific strategy for 2050– where will Pacific tuna fisheries be in 2050, from where INFO Fish sits, and the intel that you have?

NR- Based on market research we see the Pacific tuna industry in general should thrive and Papua New Guinea should leverage on the platform that is provided. The advantage of Papua New Guinea is now they’re penetrating the EU market with all the exemptions, but we feel that diversifying the export base is one place, in terms of where the Pacific region could place themselves, that’s one area that they could look at how to leverage all the various economic corporations and trade agreements. This is an area where I think things should be more regulated.

Q- So still a bright future.

NR – Yes.

Q- Any last thoughts?

No, but I feel the interesting part about this whole media workshop was that we have provided the right information and also designated fact sheets that will set the tone towards the Pacific Tuna Forum so we do hope that the public would be receiving the most accurate and validated information out there.