Soundings Papers: An analysis of the Pacific Maritime Security Program and the insufficient treatment of the illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activities in Papua New Guinea

Soundings No. 41
Soundings No. 41

PDF : 1022 KB

LCDR Robbie Hosea

How does the Pacific Maritime Security Program respond to the illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activities in Papua New Guinean waters?

The seed of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) was in the Australian Army land forces of the Australian territory of Papua and New Guinea as the Pacific Islands Regiment in 1973. In 1975, Papua New Guinea (PNG) gained independence as a State and the Defence Force was established. The historical bond between the two nations is still active today and will remain, as seen from the commitment by Australia to PNG over the years. Since the PNGDF is relatively small, it does not have the three separate armed forces of Navy, Army and Air Force. Rather, the PNGDF is a single tri-service incorporating the elements of the Defence Force - Land, Maritime, and Air.

Presently, Australia continues to take the leading role as the major sea power of the Western Pacific Region under the Defence Cooperation Program (DCP). As a part of the DCP, the Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP) is the successor program of the successful Pacific Patrol Boat Program (PPBP). The significant achievement by the island nations during the PPBP has encouraged the continuation of a secure and stable region into this next program. Papua New Guinea is a beneficiary of this program. The program is of great value to our nation as it has provided the assets and related mechanisms to protect our maritime sovereignty and security.

One of the threats to the fishing industry is illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing. This paper considers the Pacific Maritime Partnership and speaks especially to the insufficient treatment offered to the problem of IUU fishing.