25 May 2007

Solomons government looking at alertnative to logging

11:06 am on 25 May 2007

The Solomon Islands finance minister the government is venturing into the tuna industry as an alternative to logging.

A report says the economy is continuing to grow at about six percent, with the logging industry remaining the largest export earner.

But the Central Bank has expressed concerns about its sustainability, saying it's unlikely to last more than ten years.

Gordon Darcy Lilo says the government believes fisheries are the best alternative.

"Last year a total value of about US 6 point 1 billion of tuna catches have been caught within these seas. we were lucky last year to have obtained 48 million. We understand that there is a pressure on us to address the situation in the logging sector. At the same time nobody talked to us and tell us the urgency we should be doing in moving towards maximising the tuna industry."

Gordon Darcy Lilo says the government is also encouraging large scale agricultural development in areas such as palm oil.