New delay for Chinese fish farm on French Polynesia's Hao

4:41 pm on 21 January 2019

Reports from French Polynesia say modifications of the already delayed Chinese fish farm project on Hao atoll will delay work until September.

Hao atoll

Hao atoll Photo: Google Maps

Last week, Tahiti-ifos reported that 240 containers would arrive on Hao by April for the Chinese company Tahiti Nui Ocean Foods to start setting up its $US320 million fish farm.

Now the public broadcaster said obtaining the permits to alter the layout of the fish enclosures by making them smaller but constructing more of them will again delay work until September.

The French Polynesian government, which is keen for the fish farm to go ahead to ease unemployment, has helped clear the proposed site.

It said there had been a survey on Hao and nearby Makemo to source workers to construct the facilities, but the mayor of Hao says there is frustration at the delays.

In 2015, when Tahiti Nui Ocean Foods first sought approval for its project, people were told that once finished, the facilities should be able to employ about 10,000 people.

Hao, which used to be a base for the French military's nuclear weapons tests, has a runway which is expected to be used to air freight fresh fish for export to China.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs