30 Apr 2012

Pitcairn tourism operator raises concern about monitoring potential marine reserve

5:15 am on 30 April 2012

A tourism operator in the Pitcairn Islands has raised concerns about how a potential marine reserve in the territory would be monitored.

The Pitcairn community is working with the international conservation organisation, Pew Environment Group, on the prospect of creating a Marine Protected Area in its Exclusive Economic Zone.

A local councillor and co-director of yacht charter company Pitcairn Travel, Jacqui Christian, believes Pitcairn's Exclusive Economic Zone is being fished illegally.

She says she is concerned about how the area would be monitored if it becomes a marine reserve.

"I don't think any group's message has come to light yet. There's been a lot of talk of using satellites. But we would still need some kind of vessels to patrol the area as well. Also there are some people that want to make sure that we can still fish the waters, we can continue our current local practice."

Jacqui Christian says she believes the majority of the Pitcairn community is supportive of a forming a Marine Protected Area.