THE people of Los Negros have major problems. They are subsistence farmers and fishers but the island’s soil is not very good and traditional fish stocks are being ravaged by overfishing and the destruction of habitat by imported nasties like the Crown-of-Thorns starfish.
Los Negros is the island at the eastern end of the larger Manus Island. The two islands are connected by a short bridge.
Los Negros is also the home of the Lombrum Naval Base and the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre for what are now referred to as ‘transferees’. The main airstrip at Momote is also located on the island. The naval base occupies a large area of land, much of it currently unused.
In addition to habitat problems, the Los Negros population is increasing at a prodigious rate and the kids are abandoning the old traditions.