Last week the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program Co. Board pledged U.S.$7.33 million for its Western Province Sustainable Aquaculture program, which is designed to provide social development and sustainable export income for the Western province community. Within the next decade, annual revenue generated from the program is estimated to exceed $3.66 million, according to Pacific Magazine.

The aquaculture funds started the Daru Hatchery Civil Construction Project, which will build a commercial barramundi hatchery with the capacity to produce 400,000 barramundi fingerlings annually. The fingerlings will supply local farms in Fly River and cage aquaculture in the Middle and South Fly River. The cage aquaculture is also a social development project funded by the Board.

Funding for the project came from BHP Billiton as remuneration for environmental damages done during its mining years in Papua New Guinea. When the mines were abandoned, BHP Billiton paid an undisclosed amount of money to the community. Compensation allocation fell into the hands of the Board, which then used it in various aquaculture development programs to improve the community.

The project is a groundbreaking sustainable aquaculture project intended to benefit the community and will involve public-private as well as community participation.

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