Unlawful harvest concerns MPs


TWO members of parliament from Milne Bay have raised concern over the continuous illegal harvesting of marine resources particularly beche- de- mer in the province.
Alotau MP Charles Abel and Samarai Murua MP Gordon Wesley have called on relevant authorities to immediately step up efforts to combat the increasing level of illegal harvesting of marine resources within Papua New Guinea waters.
“The people of Milne Bay have accepted a ban on the harvesting of sea cucumber by the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) to allow numbers to recover,” Abel said.
“The NFA is quick to prosecute them for infringements whilst our people sit and watch foreigners harvest millions of kina under their noses and escape.
“I have spoken with our prime minister and the minister for fisheries to relay the increasing frustration of our people.
“I believe there are at least 40 smaller vessels operating from a larger mother ship which bases outside our territorial waters.”
National Fisheries Authority’s managing director John Kasu confirmed that there were many blue boats that come in from Vietnam and illegally fish in Papua New Guinea waters including the wider Pacific.
“It’s a big problem for us (NFA) and we need everybody’s efforts to assist us in policing,” he told The National.
“These blue boats that come in, it’s not only in Papua New Guinea but right across the region, these boats, there’s a whole lot of them from Vietnam illegally fishing in the Pacific Ocean.
“It’s a big problem for us and we need everybody’s efforts to assist us in policing.
“We have problems everywhere. And we got limited staff and we want to work with communities. We also need community help in tackling such activities.”

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