25 Jul 2003

PNG NGO says Fishing Company has created social problem

10:58 am on 25 July 2003

An NGO in Papua New Guinea's Madang province says it can substantiate its claim that a large fishing company is polluting the environment in the Kananam area.

RD Tuna has taken court action against the NGO, Bismarck Ruma, over its allegations, which Madang governor James Yali says it has yet to substantiate.

Bismarck Ruma's co-ordinator John Chito says his organisation is being summonsed along with the local landowners group who are also opposed to RD Tuna's presence in the region.

Mr Chito says they can prove the boats are responsible for oil spills, waste dumping and damage to the reef.

But he says RD Tuna's presence has also created a big social problem with local women offering sex in exchange for fish.

"What happened was that the village ladies used to go and exchange coconuts and fruit for fish. Now it has gone to an extreme where the local ladies are now exchanging sex for fish. The Filipinos on the boats, the ladies basically are selling themselves for fish."