16 Apr 2016

More protests against EU-Cooks fishing deal

7:59 am on 16 April 2016

A protest march is planned today in the Cook Islands against the government's deal with the European Union on purse seine fishing in Cook Islands waters.

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Photo: 123 RF

March organisers say today's protest is being staged because of the government's failure to address widespread concerns over the EU deal, the practice of purse seining and that an anti-purse seining petition signed by over half the country's voters has yet to be addressed in Parliament.

The planned protest has been criticised by the government which says the march does nothing except polarise people, and detract from the bridging of positions.

The government is planning a public meeting that's to be a bridging of ideas and views on the European Union - Cook Islands purse seining deal according to Government spokesman Trevor Pitt.

Mr Pitt issued a statement claiming the House of Ariki will be playing a central role in the exercise.

He also adds it would be constructive to allow such processes to determine how best the country moves forward - rather than the fox-hole approach of individual anti-purse seiners, who seem bent on dividing people.

He adds the views of the outer islands have already been taken onboard, including those of the northern islands which are the front-line of the main fisheries resource.

However Mr Pitt did not say when the public meeting will be held.

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