23 May 2011

Solomons cannery complex part of regional aim to increase tuna return

7:15 pm on 23 May 2011

A Pacific fisheries official says a proposed marine and industrial park complex in Solomon Islands is part of a regional drive to maximise returns from tuna resources.

The Solomon Islands Government says the project is expected to generate two to five thousand jobs in tuna processing and industries that support it, with the help of $120 million from Korean investors.

The regional economic integration advisor at the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, Justin Ilakini says for the last 20 years member countries have only received access fees for their tuna.

He says the agency has been helping the Solomon Islands government ensure its deal with Korean investors, including Dongwon Industries, benefits the local economy.

"Under the bilateral access agreements most of these boats, they fish and only present five percent of their catch back to these countries. But with this onshore investment, one of the things that the Solomon Islands government wants to see is to link those vessels to the plant so that the catch are processed on shore."

Justin Ilakini from the Forum Fisheries Agency