30 Aug 2012

Pacific countries may get help in protecting fisheries resources - NZ's PM

9:40 am on 30 August 2012

New Zealand's Prime Minister has signalled there could be assistance for Pacific countries to help protect the region's multi-billion dollar fisheries resources.

John Key is attending the Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands.

Mr Key says fisheries is worth nearly 2.4 billion US dollars a year and that illegal fishing by foreign countries is a significant problem.

"They are coming here and poaching and we think that's in the order of about 4 or 5 hundred million dollars worth of illegal fishing and so for a set of countries that are not wealthy where there single biggest resource is fish in particular is tuna then we need to do everything we can to both preserve their economic rights and also to maintain their stock."

John Key says New Zealand has developed much better technology, for example satellite tracking, and will look to share that with the Pacific countries which could make use of it.