The French Polynesian government and Chinese investors have formally launched a massive aquaculture project on Hao atoll, expected to cost 1.5 billion US dollars.
The company Tahiti Nui Ocean Foods plans to build 2,800 cages to farm fish, prawns and sea cucumbers for export to China.
500 people are expected to be employed for about two years to build the facilities and once completed, the annual fish production is targetted to be in excess of 50,000 tonnes.
The company, which is a subsidiary of the Chinese Tian Rui group, has in part chosen Hao because its runway is long enough to accommodate planes which can freight the fish directly to China.
The project is hoped to create jobs for local people as unemployment in the territory is running at an estimated 25 percent.
Hao was a major military base in the latter part of the last century when France carried out its nuclear weapons tests on nearby Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls