9 May 2014

Tahiti call to focus on marine resource

4:13 pm on 9 May 2014

French Polynesia's vice president has called for France to increase its commitment to protect and use the territory's marine resources.

Nuihau Laurey says its 5.5 million square kilometres of ocean make France the world's second largest maritime power, but the area is poorly patrolled.

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Photo: RNZ

He says all French Polynesia can do is, as he puts it, send a greeting on Facebook to the fleets from Asia which fish illegally.

Mr Laurey says his government is keen to get France involved in setting up a marine centre to form a cluster of public and private professionals to cope with this century's challenge from Asian and Anglo-Saxon powers.

In an outline aimed at reassuring investors, he says political stability has been restored after what he calls a lost decade, during which there have been 11 governments, a fall in tourism arrivals of 40 percent and a jump in the unemployment rate to 25 percent.