Numerous communities in Papua New Guinea are dependent on the coastline marine resources for the livelihoods of their families. Whilst coastal waters, reef and fish stocks are comparatively healthy, communities are failing to capitalise on the potential economic and livelihood opportunities this environment provides. The development of mariculture opportunities in PNG can now be supported by the recently completed National Fisheries Authority (NFA) Nago Island marine hatchery and training facility, based in New Island.
The role of the facility was to develop marine aquaculture opportunities for PNG and become a training centre for students from the National Fishing Centre (NFC). However, for the facility to achieve its goal there was an immediate need for capacity building from both technical and mariculture perspectives.
FIS/2010/017 developed capacity at the Nago Island facility, relating to the management of the facility and the husbandry of cultured marine organisms. It involved the training of facility staff at established research institutions with similar roles, expectations and support needs. It also included basic culture trials using coral and spiny lobsters which generated baseline information relating to their potential.
These activities drew on existing expertise within ACIAR projects, and could bring positive benefits to Australia, which is developing similar industries with these commodities. This project also provided contemporary textbooks and background material for Diploma level training at NFC. This supports future mariculture capacity through high quality local graduates.