22 Jul 2006

Kiribati set to give European Union another six years to fish in its waters

7:59 am on 22 July 2006

Kiribati is set to give the European Union another six years to fish for tuna in its waters.

The agreement will renew a three-year deal signed in 2003, which was the first such partnership between the EU and a Pacific Island nation.

Our Europe Correspondent Ben Lowings reports.

"The Brussels-based European Union says under the deal, 12 Spanish long-liners and four purse seiners will be allowed to catch tuna in Kiribati waters. In return, the EU, together with the owners of fishing vessels, will continue to pay Kiribati a sum of about 600,000 US dollars a year. A third of this money has been earmarked to promote sustainable fishing in Kiribati, with this percentage increasing from next year. The EU has reached tuna agreements with Solomon Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, and Pacific trade ministers are keen to expand this network."