5 May 2015

More opposition to FADs in Cook Islands

8:56 am on 5 May 2015

An environmental group, Te Ipukarea Society, is encouraging the public to get behind its petition against purse seine fishing in the Cook Islands.

The society says that despite scientific evidence that their use is harmful, the Ministry of Marine Resources continues to sell fishing access to purse seine fleets using Fishing Aggregate Devices.

Purse Seine fishing

Purse Seine fishing Photo: Supplied

A TIS spokesman says the FADs used by purse seiners attract too much by-catch, in particular juvenile bigeye tuna, and they are calling for a total ban on purse seining.

A public march last month demonstrated the extent of the peoples' opposition to purse seining, and petitions in stores across the island have attracted 1000 signatures in three weeks.

The group says it would like to see more than 3000 signatures on the petitions before the first sitting of parliament, expected to be at the end of May.