Papua New Guinea is in the process of receiving four more patrol boats to beef up its Monitoring Control and Surveillance efforts, to curb Illegal Unregulated Unreported activities, through the existing arrangement between PNGDF and NFA.
Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources, Dr. Lino Tom, met with his Australian counterpart, Senator Jonathan Duniam recently, to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Illegal Unregulated Unreported (IUU) fishing remains a major concern to address and requires cooperative arrangements between both countries. Currently, the Pacific Patrol Boat program of which Australia supplies the guardian class patrol boats to Pacific Island countries.
They also identified partnerships with private the sector, which is vital to address issues such as IUU fishing.
It was highlighted that the current Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement (NTSA) which PNG is yet to accede needs to be prioritized in order for the arrangement to be effective within PNG and the region as a whole.
The plans to launch the 10-year Fisheries Strategic Plan for the Fisheries Sector provide an ideal platform to develop areas such as the Countries Coastal Fisheries Resources sector with greater involvement of the provinces. Particularly in areas such as the Western Province which is important to both countries because of the shared fisheries.
Both Ministers agreed to look into areas of common interest and will continue the dialogue on how best they can cooperate in addressing emerging issues. They also agreed that this dialogue has now set the basis for further work and pathways going forward for fisheries.