16 May 2016

Cooks opposition MPs seek EU lobbying over 'bad' fish deal

3:15 pm on 16 May 2016
Swedish government minister Isabella Lovin

Swedish government minister Isabella Lovin Photo: AFP

Divisions in the Cook Islands over a controversial fishing deal have reached a new peak with opposition MPs asking a Swedish politician to talk to the European Union on their behalf.

The government is set to sign a deal with the EU that would allow Spanish vessels to fish in its exclusive economic zone for at least eight years.

About 4,000 people have signed a petition against the move.

The opposition's finance and economy spokesman, James Beer, has written to Sweden's minister for International Development Cooperation, Isabella Lovin, to lobby the EU.

Ms Lovin is a former member of the EU parliament and experienced in fisheries.

In 2013, she wrote to the Kiribati government expressing her concerns over a similar agreement it had initialled.

Mr Beer says the government has been continually warned that it's a bad agreement for the Cook Islands.

Cook Islanders march to decry the Prime Minister Henry Puna and his government's deal with the European Union on purse seine fishing.

Cook Islanders march to decry the Prime Minister Henry Puna and his government's deal with the European Union on purse seine fishing. Photo: Flo Syme Buchanan

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