Thirty three Indonesians, allegedly fishing illegally for shark fins in Papua New Guinea waters early this month, have been arrested and are now in police custody.
The fishermen, on five separate boats, have been arrested in Western province by fisheries officials over the past three weeks during a surveillance operation along the PNG/Indonesian border.
The National newspaper reports that Australian authorities have been concerned that stocks of sharks in waters between PNG and Australia are being depleted because of illegal fishing for shark fins.
Three of the boats and their crews of 18 have been been taken to Port Moresby.
Another 15 people are in custody in Daru.