The Moma Coastal
Fisheries Development Project, PNG
This project included
participatory techniques for obtaining information from local
fishers and householders, but it was also a good example of how
government agencies can work together with each other, and of
sound planning. The selection and use of indicators and targets
of success that were tied to the goals of the project was also
well done. In future, one would expect even more community input
into these indicators and targets. But for the Pacific islands,
this was a good start. Like all such projects, however, it was
not "home grown" but initiated and funded by a foreign
Measurable targets are important
for economic planning for sustainable development. The process of
indicators and monitoring
their change towards pre-defined targets enables programme
managers to determine if their plan is working and provides a
clear method of reporting progress to administrative superiors.
An example of this process is the Moma Coastal Fisheries
Development Project (MCFDP), in PNG. Funded by the German Agency
for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the project used a range of
integrated monitoring indices and targets to determine the
usefulness of their plan (Jarchau et al 1995).
The objective was to develop the
socio-economic conditions in a rural area of PNG by encouraging
commercial fisheries production. A number of divisions,
organizations and institutions are involved in the socio-economic
development of PNG, and all of these require baseline data and
monitoring. The provincial planning unit therefore set up and
headed a cross-sectoral task force to develop appropriate
indicators to assess and monitor the effectiveness of the
fisheries programme and to gather the information. The processed
information was then made available to all concerned parties. One
officer was assigned to monitor activities and coordinate
communications between provincial and national fisheries
The task force:
- Prepared and published papers
- Informed the participating
groups of progress made.
- Assisted provincial
departments in planning workshops and preparation of work
- Provided workshops on
monitoring issues to support and train monitoring and
evaluation units for the different departments.
- Set up linkages and
communications schedules between provincial divisions and
The team jointly defined the role
and function of the fisheries officers for the project. The
fisheries officers, and other team members, reported to the
District Secretary, not the provincial fisheries administration.
Since district staff played an important role in the
implementation of extension and cross-sector co-ordination,
agreements on how personnel would be used was critical to the
project. Having the team members from different sectors report to
a single manager outside their own department was an excellent
idea. Each sector contributed the salary of their representative
and helped meet project costs thus establishing excellent
communication and motivation between sectors.
The team drew up work plans
ranging from monthly work of individual officers to the overall
three year project phase. They evaluated the annual work plans
every six months, comparing targets with the actual situation.
They used the evaluations to re-plan and adjust their work plans
They met weekly to assure regular
communication and co-ordination.
Their monitoring activities
focussed on income generation for the coastal villagers. They
used participatory techniques to monitor general living
conditions and the economic situation, beginning with base line
surveys, followed by establishment of targets and then regular
impact monitoring. It was important that their data be useful to
Provincial and National databases, so they harmonized their data
collection activities with all concerned agencies.
- Import statistics of several
food commodities (meat products and fresh, frozen and
canned fish products).
- Input supply information
(Prices for fish, fuel, fishing boats and gear, insulated
fish boxes are updated twice annually. Updates of bank
loan and credit conditions are monitored monthly).
- Activity and financial
monitoring included updating budgets on an annual basis
per cost center (line item) or activity.
- Sector and Framework
Monitoring included coastal population census data,
fisheries baseline information, import data of fish and
meat products, fish and food price developments, export
prices and quantities of important agricultural products
as well as input supply information.
- Baseline and impact
monitoring of 11 indicators covering income and
expenditures, asset ownership and housing situation,
health, education, social stratification, division of
labor and income, as well as the degree of organization
and integration of a coastal village.
- Marketing monitoring included
fish landings and sales at the official landing site on a
census basis, fish transactions that by-pass the landing
site were assessed by monitoring ice purchases by
fishermen (the ice-fish ratio is computed to monitor and
control the use of subsidized ice).
- A fish category system
recorded the different kinds of fish as opposed to the
much more complex and time consuming identification of
species A taxonomic sampling survey was done every 8th
working day recording up to 90 different taxa by weight
- Catch and effort surveys were
carried out at regular intervals in selected fishing
villages. Data were collected by trained fishermen and/or
extension officers. The catch rates included information
on the season, type of gear, and fishing ground. These
data were the basic tool for monitoring resource
exploitation and catching efficiency (economic
efficiency) of existing and newly introduced fishing
The team designed a data recording
system suitable for both manual and electronic data gathering and
processing. This included a code system for fishers, traders, and
fish taxa for provincial, regional and national use.
In addition to assessment and
monitoring, the project organized and conducted training programs
for fishers (men and women) and for extension officers.
The team selected the following
indices for monitoring.
- The number of people in
villages producing more than one ton of fish per year as
a measure of the size of population potentially
benefiting from the development programme. (23 villages
with a population of 8,500)Groups of fishers landing more
than one ton of fish per year were considered the direct
target groups to the initiative (30 groups based in 15
villages with a total population of 5,000 people). 15% of
the total number of active fishing groups landed more
than one ton per year and produced 70% of total landings.
- Household economic data for
samples of 10 households from selected villages included
income, expenditure, subsistence, assets, housing,
- Source of income from
fishing, farming, other, employment, remittance.
- Kind of expenditure,
including food, household, clothing, school fees,
contributions (Food was the largest expenditure).
- Surplus fish production of
coastal villages and fishing groups.
- Transport Efficiency measured
as the number of kilograms transported per kilometer.
- Returns from fishing include
a cost indicator compared to a profit indicator. The cost
indicator is computed from the cost per km traveled based
on the most common transport equipment used and returns
are based on the average weighted fish price.
- Annual surplus production
landed and marketed each year are compared to targets (a
10% per year increase). All production data is monitored
and evaluated monthly.
- Fish landings marketed
outside Lae is measured against targets to determine if
the project is producing enough fish to be exported to
markets in the highlands.
- Projections for commercial
operation of the fish market facilities is tracked by
monitoring landings (tons) and Value (Kina).
- Landings of ecological groups
of fish are monitored to determine if fishers are
targeting sustainable populations. The categories
- Large and medium size
pelagic fish (the primary category targeted for
- Small pelagic fish
- Demersal slope fish
(deeper water bottom fish)
- Deep water fish
- Reef Fish (less
sustainable, not supported for commercial
targets used to measure progress towards sustainable
cross-sectoral environmental assessment
The narrow focus of sectoral
research agencies inhibits cross-sectoral co-operation. There are
distinct differences in the kinds of information presently
gathered and the techniques used between resource managers and
ecologists, economists, and sociologists, yet all these
investigations focus on the same group of people interacting with
the same resource. By shifting the focus to the well being of the
people in balance with their environment, it becomes possible to
integrate a considerable amount of assessment and monitoring.
Benefits of pooling
There are a multitude of benefits
of a multi-sectoral approach to data gathering and the creation
of development policy. The process of harmonizing information
gathering, processing and use will, by itself, reduce policy
conflicts. The various line ministries could improve the quality,
quantity and usefulness of their data by sharing the research
costs and personnel needs with each other and with the
communities. They would also benefit from pooling costs,
equipment and personnel for:
- development of common
indicators useful to all parties
- analysis of data
- storage of information
- preparation of reports
- networking the information
from the community to the highest levels of government.
- forming policy and
Common information needs
A number of important features
parallel all the information needs. For example:
- A Geographic Information
System (GIS) developed for forestry resource analysis is
equally useful to the complementary use of the land for
Agriculture and Mining. Some of the important features
mapped on the GIS common to all project areas - including
coastal resource development - are:
- Land slope
- Soil types
- Watersheds, rivers,
lakes and estuaries.
- Forest cover
- Village sites and
- Farming activities
- Biodiversity analysis
- Ports and wharves
- Political or land
- Rainfall zones
- Exposure to strong
- Places of scenic
- Economic and social data on
the people is important to all development programs.
- Market needs for local
produce interact with distribution and shipment of
fisheries and agricultural produce as well as building
- Trade data (imports and
exports) provide important information for fisheries,
agriculture, tourism, health and industry.
- Water quality measurements
can be used by all sectors to monitor the adverse impacts
of forestry, mining, agriculture, industry, and
- The condition of coastal and
estuarine habitats reflects the success of the total
range of environmental improvement activities of all
Development of suitable community
based environmental and economic indicators should provide an
even more integrated list of information needs.