24 Oct 2011

Fishing restrictions cause plant closure in Marshalls

7:36 am on 24 October 2011

A ban on a fishing technique aimed at conserving tuna has led to the temporary closure of a processing factory in the Marshall Islands.

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement instituted an annual three month ban on the use of fish aggregation devices from July to September as part of measures to reduce catches in the region.

Our correspondent Giff Johnson says Pan Pacific Foods in Majuro has been closed for nearly a month because the supply of fish was down during that period.

He says it's the first reported downside since the measure was introduced in 2009.

"This is an area that has to be addressed and looked at because the plant employs 400 people and having them out of work for a month isn't something that the Marshall Islands wants to happen."

Giff Johnson says the supply of fish is picking up now and the factory expects to resume production in two weeks.