30 Nov 2004

Niue issues its first licences to kick start a fishing industry

7:35 pm on 30 November 2004

The Niue government has issued two licences for long -liners to fish inside its territorial waters.

Kim Gordon, the general manager of Reef Group, which has established a fish processor on the island, says three more licence applications have been received.

Ms Gordon has told the Niue News that all the applications are from New Zealand owned and operated boats.

She says the exact date when the boats will start operating is yet to be determined, but the company expects them to start early next year.

Ms Gordon says the terms of the license clearly state that the vessel cannot fish within 12 nautical miles of the baselines of the territorial sea, or within 3 nautical miles of the outer edges of Beveridge Reef.

Local fishermen have been concerned that long liners will take catches from waters close to their coastal fishing grounds..

Niue News says questions about the licences will be raised at the next sitting of the Legislative Assembly in mid December.