27 Nov 2014

Kiribati to shut Phoenix protected area in January

4:24 pm on 27 November 2014

The Kiribati government has announced that from the first day of 2015, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, will be closed to commercial fishing.

The PIPA office in Tarawa has told the Kiribati Independent the vast area is now being monitored by a single patrol vessel.

It says it is planning to get ten more patrol vessels in 2017.

An American journalist Christopher Pala has claimed the President Anote Tong misled the world when he said the PIPA was closed off to commercial fishing, when a number of ships were found to be fishing in the area.

The Kiribati government has rejected Mr Pala's claim.