15 Apr 2004

NZ company says departure from Cooks fishing industry of little consequence

1:21 pm on 15 April 2004

The director of a New Zealand fishing company, which has pulled out of the Cook Islands, believes the move won't affect the fishing industry there.

Two New Zealand companies, Hawkes Bay Seafoods and Sealord, have sold their shares in Cook Islands Fish Exports, which is owned by local businessman, Brett Porter.

The Director of Hawkes Bay Seafoods, Joe D'Esposito, says they pulled out because fisheries in the Cook Islands are seasonal and they need a year round supply.

But, he says the fishing industry there won't suffer because of their exit.

"There is the same investment there, the factories there. And they have access to all the fishing vessels. So business can continue without us, they can do everything, we can help with their marketing and with our expertise because we have an amicable relationship with Brett Porter."

Joe D'Esposito admits more research should have been done into fishing in the Cook Islands before they invested.