New Caledonia

New Caledonia catches more Vietnamese poachers

According to the public broadcaster, a French surveillance aircraft spotted two boats near Ouvea after which a naval vessel intercepted them to escort them to Noumea.

Reports said a Vietnamese fisherman, who was in a serious condition after a suspected diving accident, was immediately taken off and flown by helicopter to hospital.

Two other blue boats were seen near Belep and the navy succeeded in catching one of them.

A week earlier, French surveillance teams helped Solomon Islands catch three blue boats fishing illegally.

Another two people die of dengue in New Caledonia

Health authorities say a 71-year old man and an 82-year old woman died in hospital in early March after being weakened by the mosquito-borne disease.

According to the public broadcaster, since September almost 1,700 people have been infected with dengue.

A state of epidemic was declared two months ago.

The people most affected by the outbreak are those in the age brackets 15 to 19 and 25 to 29.

70 Vietnamese boats in New Caledonia waters illegally

The commander of the French navy in the territory Jean-Louis Fournier, said 55 vessels had been warned and five had been detained.

Five captains were now serving eight to 10 months in a New Caledonian jail for illegal fishing and 30 fishermen have been flown home.

The commander said those on board the "blue boats" had no identification papers and no money but were determined to dive for beche-de-mer as part of well organised fleets.

He said the boats took weeks to get from Vietnam to New Caledonia's waters where they had engaged in fights with local fishermen.

Another dengue death in New Caledonia

The mosquito-borne virus is rampant in the French territory with three deaths in the past month.

All the dead are women who had not travelled in the three weeks prior to their deaths and had succumbed within a few days of contracting the virus.

A doctor at the Health and Social Affairs Directorate, Jean-Paul Grangeon, said each day between 10 and 12 people are hospitalised and the peak of the epidemic is yet to be reached.

He says as many as 100,000 people, or nearly 40 percent of the population of New Caledonia could be affected.

WHO says dengue is spreading across the Pacific

Fiji has now confirmed 143 cases, Nauru has confirmed more than 50, and 13 have been confirmed in American Samoa.

That follows outbreaks in Solomon Islands which has had more than 10,000 dengue cases in the last seven months, and in Vanuatu which has had more than 1700 cases since November.

RNZ reports in New Caledonia three people have died and a health emergency has been declared as more than 1-thousand cases have been recorded since September.


UN delegation arrives in New Caledonia

The territory is due to hold a referendum on independence from France next year amid continued efforts to draw up an electoral roll accepted by all sides.

The UN team will again witness the special French-led commissions, which update the roll that is restricted to long-term residents.

The eligibility of thousands of people had been questioned after they initially failed to prove that they will be allowed to vote.

The vetting process has been marked by claims of the indigenous Kanaks that they would be allowed to cast votes without enrolling.

Dengue claims another life in New Caledonia

A 30-year-old woman died of the mosquito-borne disease about a week after a 25-year-old woman in the Noumea area died of dengue type 1.

The authorities have said in both cases they were not at special risk.

A public health emergency is in place as about 700 people have been infected.

60 have been taken to hospital.

The authorities say all neighbourhoods of the city are now affected and more personnel are being hired to try to eliminate breeding areas for mosquitos

Vietnamese fishermen deported from New Caledonia

The territory's daily newspaper says nine officers accompanied the men on scheduled flights to Vietnam, with the French state paying their fares.

The fishermen were caught along with the crew of two other blue boats in the north of the territory.

The captains of the three vessels were jailed for illegally fishing in New Caledonia's waters but two vessels fled from Noumea.

Because of a break-down of the only naval vessel, the French Navy failed to pursue the two boats.

Last week, another blue boat was intercepted and its crew taken to Noumea.


Vietnamese captain to be tried in New Caledonia

Reports from New Caledonia say the man was presented to a judge and remanded in custody.

His vessel was intercepted by the French military last week near the Chesterfield Islands which lies about 500 kilometers off the main island.

The navy vessel took the 17 crew on board and sailed them to Noumea.

Last month, the captains of three Vietnamese blue boats were jailed for illegal fishing.

Their crew however escaped on two boats from Noumea.


Photo: AFP A Vietnamese "blue boat". 

New Caledonia's dengue triggers emergency

The authorities say all neighbourhoods of the city are now affected and more personnel is being hired to try to eliminate breeding areas for mosquitos.

A 25-year-old woman died last week of dengue type 1 - the first fatality since an epidemic was declared in early January.

Residents are advised to try to destroy breeding grounds in poorly accessible areas, such as gutters.


Photo: 123RF