6 Nov 2013

Cooks environmentalist calls for action to stop unsustainable fishing

4:24 pm on 6 November 2013

A Cook Islands environmentalist says the Prime Minister's decision to defer the signing of a purse seine fishing agreement with the European Union is just the beginning of her call to phase out the activity.

June Hosking and her husband Andrew, who live in Mauke, launched a petition in September aimed at persuading Henry Puna not to opt into the Fisheries Partnership Agreement to allow four purse seiners to fish in the country's Exclusive Economic Zone.

The Prime Minister has called for public consultation before cabinet makes its decision.

Currently about 40 purse seine licences have been issued in America.

June Hosking says she is worried purse seine fishing will wipe out the Cook's fish stocks and wants it banned altogether.

"I realise, like, what gets thrown in my face is, hey you know we get so many billion dollars from this, we need this. But the fact is, what I have been told by the guys who do the calculations is what they pay us and what they take works out to be about six cents a kilo they're paying for their tuna."

A Cook Islands environmentalist June Hosking.