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Data-sharing can help combat illegal fishing

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By Gynnie Kero
DATA sharing among government agencies like Foreign Affairs, Royal PNG Constabulary, PNG Customs, PNG Defence Force, PNG Ports, and provincial fisheries authorities is crucial to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the country.
National Fisheries Authority deputy managing director Philip Polon said this at the Port State Measure Agreement (PSMA) workshop in Kokopo, East New Britain yesterday.
The PSMA aims to prevent fish caught through IUU from entering the country.
Polon said the week-long workshop which began in Kokopo yesterday for officials from all line agencies to help them create a network and build better coordination and data sharing.
“The training will help us know what role we play when a fishing vessel suspected of IUU comes in.
“Officers can then come up with a device or instrument to share information.
“Training will also provide some insights on what we need to know and implement.
“PNG as flag state nation has more than 35 flagged vessels fishing in PNG and also chartering a good number of vessels for our canneries.
“By the end of this workshop it is anticipated that we achieve greater understanding of roles, mitigation of risks on different kinds of vessels coming into ports for berthing, unloading and docking, and reach an understanding to commence the ratification process of the PSMA with key state agencies.”

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