12 Oct 2011

French Polynesia fishermen defer possible Tahiti port blockade

2:17 pm on 12 October 2011

French Polynesian fishermen have maintained their partial blockade of the port of Papeete but stopped short from closing all access as threatened earlier.

They demand that the price of fuel be dropped - two months after the government decided to raise it.

The fishermen had said the port would be sealed this morning when negotiations with the government were due to begin.

However, they now say a blockade is planned should talks called for this afternoon be unsuccessful.

30 more boats are expected to arrive off Tahiti from the Leeward islands for a possible closure of the port access.

The planned action has raised concern among commuters from Moorea who worry they may not be able to return home.

In view of the threats, two ferries have decided to stop operating for the time being.

The President Oscar Temaru says the blockade is not a solution and has called on the fishermen to show more solidarity in difficult times.