Papua New Guinea has signed an agreement of 15 years with the US Coast Guard. The latter are authorized to board foreign vessels suspected of illegal activities in Papua New Guinea’s economic zone. They will be able to do so without any Papua New Guinean officer being present on board.
This will not, however, prevent Papua New Guinean officers from boarding American vessels for training.
The aim is to strengthen maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region. Humanitarian assistance, the fight against climate change and maritime awareness will be among the themes addressed.
The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape, has stated that the country is unable to patrol the 2.7 million square kilometer EEZ. This makes it more difficult to detect illegal activities such as drug trafficking or illegal fishing. The sovereignty of small states is often threatened by foreign fishing fleets.