19 May 2015

Cooks fish exports top $14 million USD

10:21 am on 19 May 2015

The Cook Islands says its fish exports have exceeded $14.7 million US dollars, supporting strong economic growth in the sector.

Provisional statistics for 2014 indicate that 97 per cent of that total comes from fresh fish exports, which are the highest since 2000, when the black pearl market accounted for most of the gains.

The overall revenue collected by the Ministry of Marine Resources for 2014/15 is $9.5 million US dollars, compared to $4.1 million in 2013 and just $108,000 US dollars in 2005.

Cook Islands, Ben Ponia

Cook Islands, Ben Ponia Photo: Supplied

The majority of revenue is gathered from the purse seine fishery, which accounts for over half of the 21,000 tonnes of catch landed in 2014.

The exports will help the GDP statistics and the overall credit rating.

The MMR Secretary, Ben Ponia, says the trends reflect the Ministry's progress in expanding the Cook Islands participation in the sustainable use of the region's tuna resource.

He says the Cook Islands is now starting to realise the potential from the largely-untapped two million square kilometre Exclusive Economic Zone.