4 Dec 2012

Easter Islanders look to NZ to help protect fish stocks

8:12 am on 4 December 2012

An Easter Island fisherman is calling on the New Zealand Government to help protect their fishery which he says is being plundered by foreign fishing vessels.

Kuchy Pakarati, who works for the PEW Environment Group, is in New Zealand as part of a Rapanui delegation to raise awareness and find solutions to overcome the exploitation of their fish stocks.

He says over-fishing is starting to affect the islanders' traditional way of life.

Mr Pakarati says the Chilean Government has limited resources to patrol their waters, and is looking at what Pacific countries, such as New Zealand, and Maori people can do to support them.

He says Rapanui people cannot win the battle on their own so they are looking for help internationally and are working with the PEW Environment Group to develop strategies to protect their waters.

Mr Pakarati says traditional methods of conserving fish stocks are being violated by foreign fishers, who show blatant disregard for locals who depend on tangaroa or the ocean to sustain them.