3 Mar 2011

Cooks Marine resources wants benefits for public coffers, not middlemen

11:51 am on 3 March 2011

The Cook Islands ministry of Marine Resources is reportedly close to changing the rules on how commercial fishing licenses can be sold so monetary benefits will go directly to public coffers, rather than middlemen.

Amongst its second quarter reports is the Audit review of the deal entered into by the Northern Cook Islands Fishing Company Ltd and the former government and how the company obtained 16 fishing licenses.

Cook Islands News reports that the licenses, which normally sell for 30,000 US dollars each, are understood to have been obtained by NCIFC for considerably less, and sold on in Taiwan to business entities there.

Marine Resources had concerns that the rights to fish in Cook Islands waters under these licenses appeared to have been 'trafficked' abroad, and sold to the highest bidder.