Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems

Industrial training in fish processing for food technology students

png_unitecSeven third-year food technology students have the opportunity to work in local fish processing operations in Lae and Madang and with the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) as part of their training. The EU-funded SPC/DevFish2 project collaborated with the PNG University of Technology ‘s (UNITECH)  Department of Applied Science to facilitate the industrial training attachments for the students.



SPC earlier collaborated with UNITECH’s Department of Applied Science to develop a new unit on seafood technology to be incorporated in the existing Bachelor of Science in Food Technology programme and a new Seafood Post Harvest Postgraduate programme. Both will start in 2014.


The seven-week industrial training attachments in private sector fish processing facilities targeting export markets will be a bonus for these students as the changes to the existing programme and the new programme will target third-year students this year when the course is rolled out next year.


The SPC/DevFish officer, Jonathan Manieva said, ‘The DevFish2 project facilitates training support for companies to improve fish handling practices to meet sanitary standards and export requirements. The students studying for the UNITECH Bachelor of Science in Food Technology are the ones who will have the capacity to fill these critical technical roles in Pacific Island-based fish processing and exporting companies. SPC/DevFish is happy to provide this additional support to the UNITECH programme as a key part of developing local human resource capacity and technical skills in fish inspection and certification requirements. ‘


Support from SPC/DevFish2 includes providing a daily allowance during the seven weeks for the selected students.  UNITECH’s Industrial Training Programme Coordinator, Mrs Sogoing Denamo, commented;

‘We appreciate very much SPC/DevFish2 interest and valuable contribution towards training food technology students and for helping them realise not only the employment opportunities in the fisheries industry, but the huge potential fisheries can offer to the country’s economy and the wider Pacific Island region. The department is very grateful for SPC/DevFish2’s support in recognising and awarding students for their academic excellence. It is surely motivation for the seven students being sponsored.’

This kind of training was highlighted in the PNG fisheries sector training needs analysis as a critical technical skill requirement, which is still in short supply as far as the industry is concerned.


PNG Fishing Industry Association Vice-Chairman and Chair of the Fisheries Training Advisory Council, Mike McCulley, remarked:

‘The industry is very pleased to see this training programme get underway.  There is a tremendous need in processing facilities for trained technicians and this represents a real commitment to source those trained technicians from the countries that the fish is harvested from.  We look forward to working closely with NFA, SPC/DevFish and UNITECH to see additional technical skills training being offered and more importantly, to entice more students to investigate this exciting career path.’


Photo: Six of the seven students selected for industrial training attachments


For further information, please contact SPC Fisheries Development Officer Jonathan Manieva

Last Updated on Friday, 27 September 2013 08:57