Huge Chinese fish farm on French Polynesian atoll delayed

2:08 pm on 11 December 2017

The planned launch of a huge Chinese fish farm on Hao atoll in French Polynesia has been delayed because of a legal dispute.

Radio 1 said the Chinese company Tahiti Nui Ocean Foods has been taken to court by the construction company Coco Group Engineering over alleged payment delays.

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After years of negotiations and months of preparations, the $US 1.5 billion project was due to be started this month.

Tahiti Nui Ocean Foods has acknowledged the delays but said the project was unchanged and would be completed.

The mayor of Hao suspects that the setback has been masterminded by the political opposition.

The fish farm is expected to create hundreds of jobs, and produce 50,000 tonnes of fish a year for export from 2020.

Tahiti fish market

Photo: RNZI/ Walter Zweifel

The company, which is a subsidiary of the Chinese Tian Rui group, chose Hao in part because its runway was long enough to accommodate planes which can freight the fish directly to China.

Hao was a major military base in the latter part of the last century when France carried out its nuclear weapons tests on nearby Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls.

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