Milne Bay Governor Titus Philemon has welcomed the call for stronger action and intervention over illegal fishing in the country by foreigners.
This is in support of calls by Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Mao Zeming following the impounding of three more Vietnamese blue boats by the PNGDF's Naval Boat HMS Seadler over the festive period.
Mr. Philemon says, the National Government's suggestion to establish a Naval Foreward Base in Alotau must be looked into seriously, following the recent arrest of illegal foreigners.
He said “illegal fishing in Milne bay by foreigners has increased and the idea is relevant to also address national security risks in these thriving fishery parts”.
Governor philemons comments were in support of concerns by the fisheries minister Mao Zeming on the frequent blue boats of Vietnam invasion, describing the situation “an international and regional issue that must be raised at the highest of diplomatic levels”.
For Milne bay only five of these vessels have been successfully arrested and are anchored in Alotau awaiting further instructions.
This is five despite there being well over 20 sightings reported in the last six months alone.
Of the Vietnamese fishermen who man them, over thirty are already serving time at Milne Bays Giligili prison, while over forty more were arrested at the weekend by the PNG defence force navy ship HMS Siedler who will face charges under PNG’s fisheries management laws.
Mr. Philemon also asked what had become of the PNG's Border Development Authority, the Monitoring and Surveillance Unit of the National Fisheries Authority, Customs and other relevant agencies, who were supposed to look out on the interest of the industry and resource owners.
NBC News / PNG Today
By Staff Reporter : PNG Today