10 Mar 2016

Fishing venture proposed for northern Cooks

8:23 am on 10 March 2016

A Cook Islands company says its proposal to build a fishing hub on Penrhyn will be endorsed by the atoll's residents when details of the plan are released.

The Merchants of Paradise said the hub could generate $US240 million for the Cook Islands' economy each year while preserving Penrhyn as a pristine tourist destination.

Aerial photograph of Penrhyn, also known as Tongareva in the Cook Islands.

Aerial photograph of Penrhyn, also known as Tongareva in the Cook Islands. Photo: Ewan Smith

A company spokesperson, Tim Tepaki, said the proposal would benefit tourism, fishing and agriculture on the atoll.

"If we allowed the international boats to come and off load and then refuel and go back, they would generate 360 Million ($NZ). Our economy right now is only 296 million. So you can imagine it will multiply our economy by two and a half. The outer islands have suffered badly in the depopulation that has occurred in the Cook Islands. The idea of this project is to breathe life into their dying economies."

Tim Tepaki said his company's proposal wouldn't allow fishing boats to congregate in the Penrhyn lagoon.

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