21 Feb 2011

NZ's McCully calls for increased surveillance of Pacific Island fisheries

2:55 pm on 21 February 2011

New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, says he wants increased surveillance of Pacific Island fisheries by New Zealand, the United States and Australia.

Mr McCully made the call in a speech to the US - New Zealand Partnership Forum being held in Christchurch.

Chris Bramwell reports

"Murray McCully says tuna is the Pacific's most valuable economic asset and New Zealand wants to work closer with the United States to safeguard it. He says about 400 million dollars worth of fish is illegally taken from Pacific every year. Mr McCully says New Zealand is the largest provider of aerial surveillance of Pacific Islands economic exclusion zones and the US Coastguard is a big help in those efforts. But he says more must be done and it's time for the two countries, along with Australia, to step up the surveillance and provide a comprehensive assault on the illegal fishing."