10 Jun 2015

Cooks anti-purse seining drive continues

4:21 pm on 10 June 2015

Opponents of purse seining in the Cook Islands are hoping a petition with over 3,000 signatures will help persuade the government to place restrictions on the fishing method.

Te Ipukarea Society technical director Kelvin Passfield says the group has taken the petition across the islands and the process has gone well.

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Although Mr Passfield says with cooperation from the Aitutaki island council they would have got half of those that voted in the last election there but instead only 200 signatures were collected.

He says the island council didn't allow the petition in shops on the island.

Despite the issues organisers say they still garnered majority support from other islands.

Mr Passfield says petitions are still being collected on Rarotonga but he thinks they will finish with between 3,000 and 3,500 signatures.

"If more than 50 percent of the voting population can be bothered putting their name to a signature you would think that the government of the day would pay attention. They're the same people that put them in power and in a lot of cases it's supporters even of the ruling Cook Islands party who have come out and signed the petition against it so you would hope that they would pay some attention and there would be some modification."

Mr Passfield says the petition will be presented to parliament at the end of the week.

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