8 Jan 2018

Appeal lodged over Cook Islands purse seine issue

9:06 am on 8 January 2018

An appeal has been lodged in the Cook Islands against the High Court's judicial review of the government's development of the Cooks' purse seine fishery through an agreement with the European Union.

Cook Island workers handling a yellow fin tuna that was off-loaded from a fishing ship into a shipping container in Avarua on Rarotonga.

Yellow Fin tuna in the Cook Islands. Photo: Marty Melville / AFP

Te Ipukarea Society took the case to the High Court in July alleging that the government had failed to conduct an environment impact assessment and did not consult with traditional leaders.

Cook Islands News reports that in the court's ruling handed down last month, Justice Dame Judith Potter found adequate assessments had been conducted by the Ministry of Marine Resources through its obligations to the Western and Central Pacific Fishery Commission.

Justice Potter also found that traditional leaders did not need to be consulted in proposals related to distant waters more than 50 kilometres off the coast.

The technical advisor of Te Ipukarea Kelvin Passfield said the appeal had been lodged based on public interest.

He said the judge criticised aspects of the agreement with the EU in her ruling that need consideration by the court of appeal.

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