Surveillance a challenge for authority


CONDUCTING surveillance of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) involves a lot of activities, not only fishing, according to the National Fisheries Authority (NFA).
Managing director John Kasu said the authority and other government agencies needed to work together to patrol and apprehend illegal vessels entering the country.
To combat illegal fishing, he said NFA this year had embarked on air surveillance which cost them half a million for a session.
“One of our challenges is surveillance; it’s a big area for us with a limited number of patrol boats,” Kasu said. “I think next year we will beef up our capacity in terms of surveillance.
“Surveillance is for everybody, not only fisheries.
“When it comes to illegal fishing, that’s when NFA comes in.
“There’s a whole lot of other things that come together, you have people smuggling goods, etc.
“All agencies like police, PNGDF, Customs, NAQIA, we all need to be working together and apprehend vessels.” Kasu said the country has a huge EEZ and a lot of illegal boats were coming in and extracting marine resources because of our inability to police this area.
“This results in a huge revenue loss through this illegal activity.
“NFA has got the capacity for surveillance but we’ve got limited staff numbers.
“We don’t have patrol boats and air craft to do aerial surveillance but we have gone a big way this year to charter private vessels that are carrying out surveillance.

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