8 Nov 2004

Fish processing plant in Marshalls to remain closed for forseeable future

11:24 am on 8 November 2004

It appears that the PMO Fish Processing plant in the Marshall Islands will remain shut for the forseeable future.

The company is the largest in the capital, Majuro, with more than 600 workers.

Negotiations between the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority and PMOP head, Robert Colson, broke off last week and there is no sign at present of any effort to resolve the impasse.

Until August, the plant had been supplying the StarKist tuna cannery in American Samoa with cooked, cleaned and frozen fish for final canning on a monthly basis.

But the fish factory has faced increasing financial difficulties this year, with Mr Colson estimating that he and other investors have lost close to 1 million US dollars this year.

The Marshall Islands government has refused to continue subsidizing the plant's operations after helping the PMOP to refinance a government-backed loan in July.

It has also injected an additional three hundred thousand into plant operations.