The PNG Fishing Industry Association (PNGFIA) is appealing to the Government and relevant authorities to lift restrictions on PNG fishing vessels coming through quarantine checks in the country.
As the coronavirus continue to spread across the Asian region and other countries, PNG has been on lockdown with foreign and domestic vessels coming into the country, however the PNGFIA believes these restrictions should not apply to locally own fishing vessels.
“These vessels are not coming from China, Hong Kong or Japan. They are out at sea for three to four months, and come back to PNG to unload. I don’t understand why there are being put under these restrictions and quarantined,” PNGFIA President Sylvester Pokajam said.
The PNGFIA is also appealing to relevant authorities to consult major players in the industry before imposing restrictions on local fishing vessels, citing there are systems in place to track and monitor shipping movements.
“We feel that the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) was not consulted in this decision. We have a tracking system that monitors every movement of our vessels in the country. We will know which vessel has travelled to China or any Asian ports and they can have it flagged for quarantine,” Pokajam said.
By Stanley Ove Jnr, EMTV News, Port Moresby