15 Aug 2013

French Polynesian fishermen opposed to foreign vessels

6:52 am on 15 August 2013

Fishermen in French Polynesia have threatened port blockades, should the territorial government open the exclusive economic zone to outsiders.

A meeting aimed reassuring the fishermen has failed to allay concerns that a deal has already been lined up with the European Union.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The marine resources minister, Tearii Alpha, says the fishing sector needs to be reformed to help the territory integrate its five million square kilometre zone. He says talks have been held with the European Commission in a bid to get budgetary support, adding that action needs to be taken swiftly. According to local media, Mr Alpha has warned that the United Nations could order the opening up of fishing quotas within French Polynesian waters. The Fishermen's organisation has given the government an ultimatum until tonight to give a written undertaking that no step has been taken to open the zone to foreign vessels."