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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Sept. 26) - Illegal fishing in PNG coastal waters and economic zone is on the increase because of lack of surveillance.

Defense Minister Kappa Yarka said that despite receiving K1 million from the National Fisheries Authority, the PNGDF patrol boats could not effectively cover the economic zone.

He said the economic zone of PNG, which holds more tuna than any other country in the region, continue to be raided by foreigners who make millions of kina and get away with it.

He said it was sad that the country does not have the technology and capacity to monitor illegal fishing.

PNG shares maritime borders with Australia, Indonesia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

He said PNGDF patrol boats brought in about K4 million in revenue this year in fines from boats they apprehend, but the money was not enough to sustain their operations.

Mr Yarka suggested that a one-engine Cessna aeroplane should be used to help with surveillance and cover the vast waters not covered by the patrol boats.

He was responding to concerns raised in Parliament yesterday by North Fly MP Martin Tabi on the lack of surveillance along PNG's maritime borders. 

September 26, 2003

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