Protecting fisheries resources and the important role courts play when dealing with fisheries compliance will be one of the main goals of the National Fisheries Judges Conference in Port Moresby.
National Fisheries Authority (NFA) chief executive John Kasu at the official opening said the conference will address and promote interagency network collaboration, information sharing between state agencies and building whole-of-government partnerships.
He said the importance of fishing to PNG and the economies of coastal and island communities cannot be understood, but exports of fish and fishery products out of PNG in terms of quantity have continued to increase. increase every year over the past few years.
He said PNG earns nearly KK 400 million from fishing licenses and the export value has exceeded KK 1.5 billion for all fish and fishery products for 2020.
âIt is also important to note that the most important threat to the long term sustainability of our marine resources is the problem of illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing,â he said.
Mr. Kasusaid PNG, through the NFA, continues to work with regional and sub-regional organizations to establish cooperative arrangements to reduce IUU activities and overcome operational challenges and constraints.
âFrom an operational standpoint, the day-to-day problems and constraints of the NFA face challenges in its enforcement efforts.
âThese include logistical limitations, human and technical capacities and the lack of regional cooperation agreements to facilitate effective operational platforms to launch cooperative or joint enforcement capacity.
âThese are some of the areas dealt with under the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement (NTSA),â Kasu said.
He said that recent amendments to fisheries laws and regulations (2015 and 2016 respectively) have been affected to reflect the seriousness of IUU fishing with corresponding sanctions and he hopes this conference will mark the start of an ongoing dialogue aimed at systematically fight against IUU fishing.
âWe will continue to work closely with state legal services, including the courts, to ensure that our goals of reducing, eliminating, monitoring and controlling IUU activities are met,â Kasu said.