[Coral-List] Advice on damaged coral reef in Vanimo, Papua New Guinea by grounded logging barge.

Mendrith Eko mendrith_eko at yahoo.com.au
Mon Apr 6 18:15:11 EDT 2009

My name is Mendrith EKO. I am the principal owner of the damaged reef name 'BIHO' through my fore fathers and am still fish the area up untill the incident.
I know you might be surprised how I got your email address and write to you. Anyway, I was surfing through the internet to collect few information 
regarding the types of coral reefs and how we can be able to ask the logging company for some money.
Firstly, I dont know if you can be of any help to us or if you know a marine biologist who can be able to assist. In brief, please see the incident report below.
I have also collected few photos of the damaged corals with my digital camera should you want to have a look.
On the night of 02nd October, 2008 @ 10:00pm a barge chatered by a logging company in Vanimo namely JUMBO TRACK LOGGING COMPANY ran aground on the reef outside of the village. I have documented the axact impact located using my portable GPS.
Latitude 02 deg 39'45 S and Longitude 141 deg 16' 34 E and the damged coral reef is 1875 m2.

The reason for us to seek legal help are as follows;
1.    Traditional fishing rights
2.    Unlawful tresspassing and damaged to the area
3.    Loss of business
I have already seek legal opinion from three different national lawyers, one Vanimo based and two Port Moresby based.
After listening to their opinion, I went home and discussed this matter with my family and sub-clan. After a lenghty discussion with my family/sub-clan, adjacent reef owners and the village councillor we decided to pursue the matter to the company.
The officers from fisheries and environment departments went with us and inspected the damages which measured with an area of 1875 sq. meters. It is 75 meters long by 25 wide.
Green peace were in Vanimo during which they collected few photos and video shots. The provincial environment representative in Vanimo has compiled and forwarded his assesment to us already. I will need to collect a report from Green Peace office in Port Moresby.
We have had two resolutions with the company JUMBO TRACK Logging management in Vanimo, during the meeting the company general manger Mr. Tony Tjeong acknowledged the liability to the damaged coral reef.
The have agreed to compensate us K10,000.00 Ten thousand Kina for the damage.
We refused to take the offer and again were offered K50,000.00 but we bluntly rejected the money.
I know it will be a long process but am hoping to seek help from people who are expert in the area of marine resources to bail us out.
Your precious time and information will be very much appreciated.
Thanking you in advance.
Mendrith EKO
Phone: 675 278 2218
Mob: 675 6503247, 675 6352915
mendrith_eko at yahoo.com.au

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