13 MAY 2009 PORT MORESBY (Pacnews) ----- Papua New Guinea (PNG) does not have data on the effects of climate change on its fisheries, especially of tuna stocks, a leading local scientist has said, reports The National.
This is cause for concern regarding the sustainability of the country’s fishing industry, according to Professor Chalapan Kaluwin.
Professor Kaluwin said last Friday that information on the effects of climate change-induced warmer waters on tuna migratory patterns was not available.
He said he was aware the National Fisheries Authority did not have this type of data.
Bluefin tuna thrive mostly at the depth of 30m, so when the water temperature at this level becomes warmer, they will migrate to cooler regions.
Such a development will affect the national fisheries industry.
Professor Kaluwin said he was aware bluefin tuna, found off Milne Bay and its northern coastline, were now found in increasing numbers in northeastern Australian waters, suggesting they were migrating south more often.
He said there was a lack of research data in other areas on how PNG could adapt to climate change challenges.
The country’s building codes, for example, needed to be reviewed for construction of buildings that could adapt to effects of climate change, Professor Kaluwin said.
Meanwhile, the growing of tree and food crops is one of the ways to help capture carbon dioxide emissions that is affecting the world’s climate, an official from the PNG’s Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) said
Chris Dekuku, when presenting DAL’s response to climate change, told the Mamose regional climate change conference at Divine Word University in Madang last Friday, said that the planting of tree crops and food crops was one way of helping in the fight against global warming.
Other ways, he said, agriculture could help were the use of low green-house emitting fuels for agricultural purposes, reforestation of savannah and allowing biodiversity to exist in agricultural areas.
Mr Dekuku said agricultural practices worldwide contributed 20-30% of the total green house gas emissions.
These practices include clearing of forests for agriculture, grazing, waste and gases from livestock such as burps and manure of cows which emit methane, use of agricultural chemicals and the tilling of soil.
The conference was told last Thursday by another presenter, Dr Graham Sam, that the practice of digging up and exposing intact soil immediately releases methane, one of the six greenhouse gases responsible for climate change, into the atmosphere.
Mr Dekuku said DAL was ready to be part of the Government’s push to enforce and benefit from international push in “reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD)”.
He said the National Agricultural Development Plan (NDAP) was the Government’s blueprint to stimulate agriculture in an environmentally sustainable way and allow PNG to benefit from REDD.
He also said for its record, DAL has been successful in mitigating and adapting to climate change, induced disasters and crises that affected PNG agriculture such as the potato blight in the Highlands in the 1990s, the nationwide drought in 1997-98 and the cocoa pod borer outbreak in parts of Madang, East New Britain and elsewhere in 2007-08……PNS (ENDS)