By OGIA MIAMEL
Papua New Guinea needs collaborative efforts from the community and stakeholders to cut down illegal fishing, National Fisheries Authority managing director John Kasu says.
Kasu told The National that illegal fishing was not only an issue in this country but across the region. In PNG, it was difficult to police it because of the vast ocean and lack of resources, he said.
“Illegal fishing is something that is a challenge for us in PNG and NFA has been working on that,” Kasu said.
“When you look at illegal boats coming in, it’s not only fisheries, it’s a whole raft of people, like human trafficking, drugs.
“It requires not only NFA but other relevant agencies to collaborate and work together to address the issue of illegal boats coming into PNG waters.”
Kasu said they had an arrangement with the PNG Defence Force and police to conduct joint patrols four times a year.
“This year, we moved into hiring and chartering private vessels and carrying out those operations with Customs, police and defence,” Kasu said.
He said they were currently doing a regional patrol called purupuru and it was done jointly with foreign fisheries agencies.
“We started aerial patrol this year and we have been working with Tropic Air, chartering Tropic Air and basically looking at hotspots like Milne Bay waters and Kavieng,” Kasu said.
“These boats just come in but we also rely on public sightings.
“They report it to us – it’s a small agency and we don’t have the resource but we depend on everybody working together.”
By OGIA MIAMEL