26 Jun 2013

Vanuatu mayor surprised to learn of Luganville fish factory approval

6:47 pm on 26 June 2013

The mayor of the Vanuatu town of Luganville says neither he, nor his community, have been properly consulted about a proposal by a Chinese company to build a fish processing factory in the town.

The Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority approved Tuteng Group's application to operate the factory earlier this month.

But Maurice Emboe says people in Luganville are opposed to the plan because of concerns about overfishing and the effect of possible environmental damage on the lucrative tourism industry.

Maurice Emboe says he was surprised to find the proposal was approved.

He says his council has heard nothing from the company or Port Vila.

"Nothing, nothing, just absolutely nothing because we've just realised that the documents have been signed in the last few months and also locating the fish processing in Luganville was approved from the government, from the Cabinet department."

Maurice Emboe says more than 1,000 people in Luganville have signed a petition against the factory and he wants the government to reconsider the proposal after proper consultation with the community.