8 Jul 2009

Australian fish farm in Marshalls on hold as financial crisis bites

1:55 pm on 8 July 2009

An Australian fish farming company has put operations in the Marshall Islands on hold for about 18 months, blaming current export costs and poor air links.

Good Fortune Bay Fisheries has invested more than three million US dollars into operations in Majuro to grow live fish for export to mainly Asia and fresh fish to the US.

But its managing director Carey Ramm says the global financial crisis makes his business unviable at the moment.

"We do rely heavily on air freight. The air linkages aren't working at the moment due to schedule rationalisation of the major airlines in the area and substantial increase in airfreight rates, we've seen almost a tripling of airfreight rates into and out of the Marshall Islands."

Carey Ramm says the operation was still in its pilot stage, but they have had to sack seven staff as a result.