PNG on hook in poach­ing

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Peter Michael

PA­PUA New Guinea’s po­lit­i­cal elite are em­broiled in a cor­rup­tion scan­dal linked to Viet­namese fish poach­ing syn­di­cates raid­ing the Great Bar­rier Reef.

Milne Bay Gover­nor Ti­tus Phile­mon has al­leged se­nior PNG politi­cians are con­nected to il­le­gal “phantom” fleets plun­der­ing sea cu­cum­ber, fish and clams in a $600 mil­lion-ayear trade in the South Pa­cific.

Aus­tralian of­fi­cials are in talks with PNG coun­ter­parts af­ter more than 100 Viet­namese poach­ers were caught on 10 boats, each loaded with up to nine tonnes of il­le­gal seafood, off Queens­land last year.

Video footage ob­tained by Mr Phile­mon al­legedly shows links between promi­nent politi­cians, lo­cals, fish pi­rates and il­le­gal fish­ing.

PNG’s Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter did not re­spond to ques­tions.

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