31 May 2007

Management of Pacific fisheries a continued challenge

1:51 pm on 31 May 2007

The Minister of Marine Resources and Fisheries of the Cook Islands, Wilkie Rasmussen, says some of the biggest challenges facing the Pacific fisheries industry is managing and controlling its resources.

Members of the Forum Fisheries Agency from around the Pacific are in the New Zealand capital today for the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee annual meeting.

Mr Rasmussen says each every Pacific country needs better surveillance of its waters.

"There's an increase in illegal fishing, and of course the maintenance of stock. There's a fair bit of over-fishing in the Pacific. Stock of fish, for example in the waters around the Chilean coast, are quickly being fished out. The fishing boats around those areas are starting to cross into the Pacific, are now crossing into our waters so we have to be pretty careful about that."

Mr Rasmussen says just two weeks ago, a Taiwanese fishing boat was prosecuted for crossing into the country's waters.