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Coordinates: 10°15′S 150°0′E / 10.25°S 150°E / -10.25; 150

Milne Bay Province

Flag of Milne Bay.svg
Flag of Milne Bay Province

Statistics
Capital: Alotau
Area: 14,000 km² (12th)
Population:
(as of 2000)
209,054 (11th)
Governor:
(since 2007)
John Luke Crittin
Map
Papua new guinea milne bay province.png
Map of Papua New Guinea highlighting Milne Bay Province

Milne Bay is a province of Papua New Guinea. Its capital is Alotau. The province covers 16,202 km² of land and 252,990 km² of sea, within the province there are more than 600 islands, about 160 of which are inhabited. The province has about 210,000 inhabitants, speaking about 48 languages, most of which belong to the Eastern Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family. Economically the province is dependent upon tourism, oil palm, and gold mining on Misima Island; in addition to these larger industries there are many small-scale village projects in cocoa and copra cultivation. The World War II Battle of Milne Bay took place in the province.

Culturally the Milne Bay region is sometimes referred to as "the Massim," a corruption of the name of Misima Island. Massim societies are usually characterized by matrilineal descent, elaborate mortuary sequences and complex systems of ritual exchange including the Kula ring. From Island group to Island group and even between close lying islands, the local culture changes remarkably. What is socially acceptable on one island may not be so on another.

The coral reef systems of Milne Bay are some of the most biodiverse in the world, and as such attract equal attention from dive operators and conservation groups. The D'Entrecasteaux Islands still have volcanic activity, especially around Dobu and Fergusson Islands.

The waters from the Amphlett group to the Trobriand Islands are poorly charted, and, as a result, are rarely visited by tourists or yachts passing through. On the other hand, the Louissiade Archipelago is a stopover for yachts travelling around the world and ones visiting from Australia,. However, the area sees few general tourists. The gold mine at Missima is no longer operational. Mining ended at Misima in 2001, with stockpile milling continuing into 2004. During its life, Misima has produced over 3.7Moz of gold and 18Moz of silver. Operations now are mainly focused on mine-closure requirements and environmental rehabilitation.

Islands in Milne Bay Province include:

  • The D'Entrecasteaux Islands including Goodenough (Nidula), Fergusson (Moratau), Sanaroa, Dobu and Normanby (Duau)
  • The Trobriand Islands, including Kiriwina, Kaileuna, Vakuta and Kitava
  • The Amphlett Islands
  • Woodlark Island (Muyuw, Murua)
  • The Louisiade Archipelago, including Rossel (Yela), Tagula (Sudest, Vanatinai), Misima
  • Samarai, location of the colonial District Headquarters until 1969 when the new Provincial Capital was moved to Alotau
  • Kwato, Deka Deka Islands, Logea, Saliba, Basilaki, and Sideia
  • The Engineer Islands, including Tubetube and Koraiwe

Administratively, there are four districts:

References

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