17 Sep 2003

Cook Islands to look at quota system for fishing

4:51 pm on 17 September 2003

The Cook Islands is considering a quota system for the fishing industry after a moratorium on the granting of new licenses was announced.

The secretary of Marine Resources, Navy Epati, says there are currently 35 boats operating and another 35 applications for licenses that are expected to be granted.

But, he says there won't be any more considered until the new Marine Resources Act is in place.

Mr Epati says they've put a cap of 65 on the industry to reflect a cautious approach and the ministry itself would also like to see a quota system imposed.

"What we'd like to go into is a system which once we have some idea or reliable data on the status and health of stocks in our E.E.Z and we are able to safely say, look, a licence will entitle you only to catch so much at any time of the year."

The secretary of Marine Resources, Navy Epati.