The Cook Islands opposition Democratic Party says in signing a deal with Spanish purse seiners the government has abandoned principle in favour of money.
The four year deal involves licences for four purse seiners to operate in the country's waters.
James Beer says purse seine fishing is the most destructive form and, if elected, the Democrats' would phase it out.
He says the Government is taking the lazy way out by not encouraging more investment in the local industry, which he says could foster more sustainable fishing.
"We have already managed to do some cost exercises where tourism and charter fishing boats and the money that is derived from local fishermen catching the fish and selling it to the local restaurants and hotels is far more productive, and far more rewarding, than it is to sell fishing licences or even be involved in that heavy industrialised type of fishing."