16 Jun 2006

Port blockade in French Polynesia enters its second day

6:05 am on 16 June 2006

A road block at French Polynesia's main port is in its second day as fishermen threaten to cut off the sea access to the port of Papeete.

The road block was set up by members of the dissolved GIP intervention force loyal to an opposition associate who was replaced as head of the force when the new government came to power last year.

The blockade was triggered purportedly because of a disagreement over which men were allowed to guard a section of the port.

The action has been declared illegal in an urgent court ruling but the French state which is responsible for ensuring the freedom of movement has yet to enforce the decision.

This comes as disgruntled fishermen have vowed to increase pressure on the territorial government to get industry support.

Yesterday, they dumped a truckload of rotting fish outside the main gate of the presidential palace.

And today they threaten to use their boats to block the sea access to Tahiti. Negotiations on their grievances are scheduled for late afternoon.