Archive for July, 2014

Fish of Paradise

Produced by Jon Rawlinson and Ian McLeod.

Locally based sport fisheries in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have the potential to provide stable alternative livelihoods and new income streams to support food security for PNG’s coastal villages as a result of increased income, in addition to building resilience to external impacts such as climate change and fluctuations in commodity prices. Moreover, development of sport fishing (recreational catch-and-release angling for iconic game fish) is a major initiative that would support extensive capacity building across science, business and tourism, and generate significant environmental benefits by: (1) conserving vital fisheries resources and converting unsustainable capture fisheries into viable release fisheries; (2) providing the incentive and knowledge for local communities to support ecosystem health and resilience and to conserve the target species’ key habitats; and (3) promoting the ideal of sustainable resource use.

The project has wide support from the PNG government departments, local industry and current PNG sport-fishing operators. The objectives is to develop a thorough understanding of key social, economic and environmental issues that support a sustainable and resilient sport-fishing industry by (1) developing an understanding of relevant aspects of the ecology and biology of Black Bass sport-fish resources of PNG; (2) devising protocols for the appropriate conduct of a sport fishery in a PNG context to maximise its resilience and long-term viability; (3) developing an understanding of potential livelihood costs and benefits and how to manage them; and (4) determining the commercialisation needs of a sport-fishing industry in a PNG context.

The aim of this project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Papua New Guinea National Fisheries Authority (NFA) is to empower NFA, PNG Tourism Promotion Authority, and business and community groups to sustainably develop, grow and manage the expanding sport fishing industry in Papua New Guinea. This industry has the ability to provide stable alternative livelihoods and new income streams to support food security for PNG’s coastal villages.