10 Mar 2006

PNG islanders blame food shortage on foreigners fishing illegally

4:19 pm on 10 March 2006

Locals on the Carteret islands in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville say their sea resources are being depleted by Japanese and Taiwainese fishing vessels.

The islanders are facing a food shortage after storm waves caused by strong winds wiped out crops three weeks ago.

But the Post Courier newspaper reports they say they can't rely on their marine resources for food supply as a result of unauthorised harvesting by Japanese and Taiwanese fishing vessels.

The villagers are demanding that their respective governments be held responsible for the damage done to the reefs.

But after a visit to the Caterets, the Atolls District Manager Paul Tobasi said a lot of resources have also been depleted by the islanders themselves.