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Old 18-08-2003, 07:21 PM
***aCe*** ***aCe*** is offline
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Live Reef Fish Food Trade (LFRRT) in Papua New Guinea

LIVE Reef Fish Food Trade or LRFFT is the increas in trade for live groupers, wrasses, and some snappers that caters for rich consumers in HongKong and Southern China. These consumers prefer the beauty of live fish from tanks while dining in very expensive hotels because of the perceived status and prestige.

Species targeted for LRFFT may differ from region to region depending on the distance and demand by the consumers.

Most groupers, cods and trouts are usually found in coral-rich areas of lagoon and outer reefs. They are more abundant around islands and attolls. Some species like squaretail coral grouper, brown marbled cod, camouflage grouper are usually found in small schools.

These fishes usually aggregated on a certain part of the reef to spawn at a certain perioid of time.

Groupers during spawning period may become vulnerable to over exploitation by fishers. Groupers feed mainly on crustaceans (portunid crabs), fishes, and sometimes cephalokpods and gastropods (see picture below).



Different types of fish: Groupers, cods and trouts pictured here
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  #2  
Old 19-08-2003, 10:43 AM
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The Maori Wrasse (also known by many as humhead wrasse or Napoleon wrasse inhabits steep outer reef slopes, channel slopes, and lagoon reefs. Usually solitary but may occur in pairs.

Juvenile usually inhabit coral-rich areas of lagoon reefs especially where stoghorn acropora or corals are seen to be abundant. Adults usually rove across the reefs, by day and rest mollusc, fishes, sea urchins, crustaceans, and other invertebrates.

Maori wrasse akes five (5) years to become an adult. At this age, a Maori wrasse becomes sexually matured or once it reaches 50cm (TL). Maori wrasse grows to more than 2 metres, lives at least 30 years.

Barramundi (humpback grouper) cod inhabits lagoon and seaward reefs and are typically found in silty areas, coral reefs and tide pools. Juveniles are commonly caught for aquarium trade.

The Maori wrasse (pictured)
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Old 19-08-2003, 11:07 AM
***aCe*** ***aCe*** is offline
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History of LFRRT in PNG

LFRRT was introduced in PNG in 1992. The first operation was based on Hermit Island in Manus Province then spread to other provinces.

The fishery presents potential for economic benefits to the coastal communities, but if not managed properly, it can also cause negative enviromental, economic, biological, and social impacts.

The potential problems are:
  • Continually moving from one area to another, leaving those who live near the reefs without enough fish for themselves of the community. This fishing pattern is commonly known as the "boom and bust" syndrome.
  • Foreign fishers usually use poison like sodium cyanide to stun and capture fish, and surrounding enviroment.
  • Targeting of juveniles and spawning sites.
  • Introduction of overly efficient fishing pratices destructive to the resources, surrounding enviroment and traditional fishing methods.
  • May lead to unsustainable exploitation if the fishery is not properly managed.
  • High by-catch return
  • Social conflicts (e.g Reef ownership right, fishing right, royalty distribution etc...).
The potential benefits are:
  • A source of income for governments from license fees.
  • An opportunity to generate income for the coastal population.
  • Establishing markets for fisheries especially those in the remote coastal areas.
  • Providing job opportunities for youths in the remote areas.

Map showing the LFRRT managment areas in Papua New Guinea
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Old 19-08-2003, 11:25 AM
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The management arrangement
  • There is a nationwide moratorium on the issuance of licenses for LRFFT imposed in 1998
  • The National Fisheries Board approved a trial project in Kavieng to obtain the much-needed information to formulate and develop a "LRFFT Management Plan"
  • AT present, the LRFFT in PNG is managed under a national management plan known as "The National Live Reef Food Fish Management Plan"

    Important Reminders
  • Fishing for live fish is restricted to handling only
  • Fishing for LRFFT is restricted to local fishers catching and selling fish to the operator
  • The use of sodium cyanide including derris roots for capturing fish is illegal.
  • Use of hookah gear, SCUBA and traps are prohibited in the LRFFT.
  • Fishing on spawning aggregation sites for the purpose of the selling live fish is prohibited.
The barramundi cod
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Old 19-08-2003, 11:49 AM
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The Fisheries Manager - Inshore's plan for LRFFT
  • Assess the available stock in the management areas.
  • Provide awareness materials to educate the fisherman
  • Provide training on "live fish handling".

Most live fish target species are slow growing, have low fecundity, have long life span and usually aggregate during spawning seasons making them vulnerable to over exploitation.
However, if managed properly, this relatively small volume, high value fishery could contribute to sustainable economic development fo the coastal communities and the country as a whole. Therefore, this fishery demands careful consideration in management.


Chart showing size limits for exports
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