10 Jun 2009

French minister questions Pacific fishing policies

11:29 am on 10 June 2009

A senior French minister has questioned European Union fishing policies which call for the scrapping of fishing boats while allowing non-EU vessels fish in France's exclusive economic zones in the Pacific and elsewhere.

The comment was made at maritime conference in Paris by Michele Alliot-Marie, who is the French interior minister and minister in charge of overseas territories.

She says there is a need to be logical and have the courage to list facts, adding that she is convinced that France's overseas maritime resources are not properly utilised.

Mrs Alliot-Marie questions the practice of allowing Mexican vessels fish the waters around the French possession of Clipperton in the Pacific.

Another top French official says there will be a debate in the months to come about the nature of the exclusive economic zones controlled by France which are potentially the world's second biggest encompassing 11 million square kilometres.