PNG FISH HATCHERY IN FINAL STAGE OF CONSTRUCTION

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The US$7 million project will raise barramundi

By Bola Noho

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Feb. 2, 2009) - Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP) on Friday signed for the last construction phase of the PGK18.3 million [US$7 million] barramundi hatchery project in Daru, Western Province.

Chief executive officer of PNGSDP David Sode and director Don Manoa signed the last K6 million contract agreement with Daryl Haste of Yatala Property Developers Ltd to complete the project.

The hatchery project will be one of the biggest modern facilities in the region and besides the main hatchery, the project will involve the construction of laboratories, manager and staff houses, road works and other construction works.

Mr. Sode said the project will cost PGK18.3 million and be a significant investment in Daru so the momentum of construction would continue towards its completion.

"This is probably the largest barramundi facility on this side of the world where it is pretty significant and will turn over 100,000 fingerlings in the first year," Sode said.

He said it would also be used in restocking the Fly River system where people could start farming the fish in their villages which would contribute to the food security and commercialization.

The hatchery is expected to be completed in June while the rest of the infrastructures would be completed towards the end of the year.

Mr Haste thanked PNGSDP for the project and said they were grateful for the opportunity and looking forward to complete the project.

The Western Province Sustainable Aquaculture (WPSA) was approved by the PNGSDP board to construct and operate a commercial barramundi hatchery capable of producing 400,000 fingerlings per year.

These fingerlings would enable PNGSDP’s social development components, including restocking projects, to rejuvenate the Fly River barramundi stocks, a cage culture project and empowering the rural communities in the Middle and South Fly to farm barramundi.

"It is not only a milestone for PNGSDP’s development but also for the people," Sode said.

He said it was the first sustainable fisheries project to be delivered in the province and had a unique initiative incorporating public, private and the community partnerships with a strong regional development focus.

Sode said his company provided a genuine opportunity for the Ok Tedi mine affected communities to have access to the sustainable economic opportunities that could generate cash and subsistence income after the mine is closed.

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