Call to pass maritime laws


A local level government president in East Sepik raised concern over maritime issues affecting the province.
Wewak Island president Pius Bugatar told The National that the province needed assistance from the National Maritime Safety Authority to implement the Small Craft Act.
“East Sepik, being one of the maritime provinces, has been facing some critical issues with its island villages in the recent past,” he said.
Bugatar said there were a number of incidents last year that involved sea piracy, fisheries and marine resource poaching and human smuggling.
“There was a massacre of several people between Manus and Wewak late last year who were captured by the sea pirates,” he said.
Bugatar said their bodies were yet to be recovered as they were buried on one of the remote atolls in Manus.
“I am calling on the minister for transport to get National Maritime Safety Authority to help East Sepik implement Small Craft Act in the province,” Bugatar said.
He said this was to create awareness and to safeguard lives of people who travelled between the island villages on small boats.
“The National Maritime Safety Authority needs to improve their security against the maritime issues faced by the island villages,” Bugatar said.
He said after visiting his LLG over the weekend, he spotted some foreign vessels of naval designs on the waters off Wewak Island.
“This prompted me to make a call as the government must not wait for more crimes to be committed on our waters,” he said.

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