15 Jun 2006

Fishermen join French Polynesian blockades

2:37 pm on 15 June 2006

French Polynesian fishermen have joined a protest in the port of Papeete and have reportedly dumped a truckload of rotten fish outside the gates of the presidential palace.

This comes as members of the dissolved GIP intervention force began a blockade of the bridge leading to the port of Papeete in what they say is a staffing dispute.

The protesting group says the deployment of guards close to the President at the port base goes against a deal struck with the government in January.

The blockade is also being supported by fishermen who demand that a fund be set up to help them cope with problems in the industry.

The action has stopped many people from going to work in the port area and threatens to disrupt the supply of basic commodities, such as flour and fuel.

The French state is responsible for maintaining the freedom of movement but it has yet to react to the latest disturbance.