22 Jul 2011

Polynesian countries strengthen links to fight illegal fishing

6:20 pm on 22 July 2011

The Cook Islands, New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, Niue and Tokelau are strengthening ties to clamp down on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, which is estimated to cost the region up to 340 million US dollars in lost revenue each year.

Ministers from each of the countries have signed the Te Vaka Toa Arrangement, which is a subsidiary agreement to the Niue Treaty on Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement.

It means participating countries will share more fisheries resources, expertise and information as well as help each other monitor exclusive economic zones.

Next month fisheries and patrol boat surveillance officials from each country will discuss the specific arrangements under Te Vaka Toa with defence officials from Australia, New Zealand, the United States and France in a meeting at a New Zealand air force base.