12 Sep 2016

Cooks' chiefs seek Greenpeace backing over fish deal

2:10 pm on 12 September 2016

Traditional leaders in Rarotonga hope Greenpeace will back their campaign to end a European Union purse seine fishing agreement.

The Aronga Mana are seeking a judicial review and spokesman Manavaroa Tutara Phillip Nicholas said having Greenpeace on side would be a major help for their cause.

The traditional high chief said the EU fishing agreement would be a terrible sentence for the Cook Islands people who will be reduced to eating fish only from cans.

A group marching against the Cook Islands fish deal with the EU

A group marching against the Cook Islands fish deal with the European Union. Photo: Flo Syme Buchanan

Mr Nicholas said a formal entreaty to Greenpeace is being prepared and will be submitted this week.

He said to date it had been quite disappointing that the environmental giant had not become involved at the outset and condemned the EU agreement, which involves purse seining using Fish Aggregating Devices.

Traditional leaders have also launched a nation-wide appeal for help to pay the expenses of a legal team to go to battle in the High Court against the government.

The report of a Select Committee charged with looking into the purse seining issue is expected to be tabled in Parliament this week.

Mr Nicholas said with the government Select Committee MP's already in favour of purse seining and the EU agreement, he hopes the report will be fair and examine the controversial issues in depth.

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