10 Dec 2012

Satellite technology explored to help defend Rapa Nui from illegal fishing

5:21 pm on 10 December 2012

An ocean conservation group is investigating whether satellite technology could help Rapa Nui protect its waters from illegal fishing.

The Pew Environment Group says the distance of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, from Chile-based protection forces means the territory's fishery is especially vulnerable.

Rapa Nui fishers are feeling the effects of industrial scale illegal tuna fishing and the Pew group has been helping the territory explore different protection methods.

Pew's Bronwen Golder says new technology could be part of the island's defence.

"We're looking to support a project that would look at how you might use satellite surveillance systems for really isolated places where you don't have navy ships patrolling. We're working with groups of specialists and different satellite entities to figure out what could be done."

Bronwen Golder says a delegation of Rapa Nui people to New Zealand last week looked at the interface between culture, economy and ocean and took away ideas for managing their own fishery.