NFA: Illegal fishing a threat to sustainability of marine resources


ILLEGAL unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing is a threat to the long-term sustainability of the country’s marine resources, according to the National Fisheries Authority (NFA).
Managing director John Kasu said it was estimated that up to US$23 billion (about K79 billion) was lost annually through IUU activities on a global scale.
“PNG also has its share of IUU fishing activities which are confirmed by the number of breaches dealt with by NFA in any one year,” he said.
Kasu highlighted this during the national fisheries judicial conference underway this week in Port Moresby.
He said that the main objective of the conference was to promote collaboration of inter-agency networks, information sharing between agencies, establish whole-of-government partnerships to address issues, constraints and challenges in fisheries management; in particular, protection of fisheries resources and the important role the courts play when dealing with fisheries compliance.
The NFA continues to work with regional and sub-regional organisations including the Food and Agriculture Organisation, Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Organisation, Forum Fisheries Agency, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Pacific Community and the Parties to the Nauru Agreement to establish cooperative arrangements to reduce IUU activities and overcome operational challenges and constraints.
“PNG is committed to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 14, (which) covers life below water,” Kasu said.
“This goal calls for targets to effectively regulate and harvest overfishing and destructive fish stocks and ensure those fish stocks reach maximum sustainable yield.
“From an operations perspective, the day-to-day issues and constraints the NFA also faces challenges in its enforcement efforts.
“These include, logistics limitations, human and technical capacity and lack of regional cooperative arrangements to facilitate effective operational platforms to launch cooperative or joint enforcement capacity.”