French Polynesia protest at Marquesas fishing project

7:42 pm on 9 October 2017

Hundreds of people in French Polynesia's Marquesas Islands have taken to the street in protest at plans to expand fishing operations in the area.

Tuna on the deck of a Pacific fishing vessel.

Tuna on the deck of a Pacific fishing vessel. Photo: RNZI/Giff Johnson

This followed a government decision to allow large-scale fishing and the stationing of a tuna fishing fleet.

The public broadcaster said 600 people marched in Hiva Oa against the plans, presenting a petition signed by 500 people from the islands of Tahuata and Fatu Hiva who could not attend the rally.

The project, named Toa Hiva, was jointly launched by the local administrations in the Marquesas in the hope of creating 200 jobs.

It aims to base 24 tuna fishing vessels and catch about 3000 tonnes a year.

The protestors said much of French Polynesia had been overfished and bringing a fleet to the Marquesas would deplete the local stocks.