About 400 people rallied in Rarotonga on Friday to protest the use of purse seine fishing and fish aggregation devices by foreign vessels in Cook Islands waters.
Kelvin Passfield, from the environmental NGO Te Ipukarea Society, says there was a very good turnout with people, including fishers, wanting a ban on the devices and for the Cook Islands government to reduce the number of international fishing days it sells.
Cook Islands has 1250 fishing days allocated to it by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, and has only sold about 700.
However, Mr Passfield says he thinks this is still too many, and many in the country feel the same, but the government is refusing to listen.
"The view of the prime minister is that he says people are being emotive, he says the development of the purse seine fishery is based on science and, yes, it's true the development of the fishery is based on science but they're only looking at part of the science which refers to the skipjack tuna stocks.
"They're ignoring the science which tells them that they shouldn't be fishing using fish aggregation devices," Mr Passfield says.