22 Aug 2005

French Polynesian shipowners oppose Hao tuna project

9:00 pm on 22 August 2005

French Polynesia's shipowners' association has spoken out against a government-backed project to set up a yellow fin tuna fish farm at Hao atoll in the Tuamotu islands.

They say the project at a cost of just under 20 million US dollars is a huge financial risk.

The group says the shipping industry has been hurting because of a lack of fish since late 2002.

It has told the Tahitipresse news agency that it is hypocritical to fund the Hao project while ignoring the plight of the shipping industry which has many of its boats in port.

The territory's president, Oscar Temaru, last week returned from a trip to Japan where he visited tuna fish farms accompanied by opposition MPs including the mayor of Hao, Temauri Foster.