14 Jun 2006

French Polynesia's fishing industry highlights crisis

7:35 pm on 14 June 2006

Fishermen in French Polynesia say they consider strike action to highlight the crisis in the industry.

They say the high sea fishing fleets are being strangled by the absence of a coherent policy which has left many boats idle and many operators indebted.

A leader of the fishermen, Marc Atiu, has told the Tahitipresse news agency that 80 percent of them owe money and several are being bankrupted.

The fisheries minister, Keitapu, Maamaatuaiahatapu, has acknowledged that the situation is chaotic.

But he says the fleet is new and some operations are poorly managed which could be helped if a Fishing Chamber was set up.