Two foreign fishing vessels have been detained by authorities in Papua New Guinea for fishing illegally in Milne Bay province.
The Post Courier reports that the PNG Defence Force captured the vessels and their 56 crew and brought them into Alotau on Christmas Eve.
This comes after several complaints from locals about the reported sightings of 17 fishing vessels allegedly involved in harvesting beche de mer or sea cucumber in the far flung Budibudi islands.
Provincial police commander Joseph Morehari said the officials on the PNGDF naval patrol boat involved in the capture were to hand the fishing vessels over to National Fisheries Authority officials later that day.
He said aside from NFA investigations, further investigations would be carried out by Customs Service and Quarantine officials.
Chief Superintendent Morehari said in the meantime, the crew had been advised to remain on the boats.