PNG ISSUES BLACK MARKET FISH WARNING

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Jan. 1, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Papua New Guinea health officials have warned that cans of fish being sold on the Port Moresby black market are potentially lethal.

Radio Australia correspondent Richard Dinnen reports that the cans are at least six years old, and appear to have been stolen from a government warehouse.

"In 1994, the then Papua New Guinea government bought five and a half thousand cartons of tinned mackerel from Thailand, intending to give them to victims of devastating volcanic eruptions at Rabaul. But as is often the way here, the fish never left Port Moresby, and have been left rotting in a government warehouse for six years, along with other food and equipment.

"Now, hundreds of those cans of mackerel have found their way into enterprising but unscrupulous hands, and are being offered for sale around Port Moresby.

"Health authorities say the fish is well past its use by date, and could cause serious illness, even death.

"Richard Dinnen, Radio Australia, Port Moresby."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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