Border treaty signed

ERRORS in the 1991 maritime border agreement between Papua New Guinea and the Federated States of Micronesia were rectified with the signing of a new treaty between the two Pacific countries on Monday.
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Under the new treaty, boundary lines between PNG and FSM economic exclusion zones were drawn to correspond with updated coordinates provided by a comprehensive review of PNG maritime zones. The changes were agreed to by both countries.

Once ratified, it will improve fisheries management and enforcement measures between both counties and give a definitive legal boundary for the prosecution of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities.

It will also open up increased cooperation in high seas surveillance and control and monitoring efforts under the Western Central Pacific Tuna Agreement.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said the treaty marked a new era in bilateral relations with FSM.

"This agreement is straight forward, but is important as it will enhance joint fisheries cooperation between our countries [and] we now need to ensure the Exchange of Notes relating to this treaty are ratified and implemented in legislation," he said.

"The FSM and PNG are both nations where fisheries are of vital importance and we look forward to working together."

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