Ministry of Fisheries Experts Assist Cook Islands
18 August 2003
Ministry of Fisheries experts are working with the Cook Islands government to help design new ways of protecting fisheries in Cook Islands waters.
A delegation from the Cook Islands last week worked with the Ministry of Fisheries looking at different aspects of New Zealand fisheries management.
Legal Adviser for the Cook Islands Ministry of Marine Resources, Peter Graham, said the Cook Islands was currently considering how it could change its legislation to provide better fisheries protection. Sustainability would be the primary goal, as it is in New Zealand, and a possibility was to set up commercial fishing controls along the lines of New Zealand's Quota Management System.
Mr Graham said particular fisheries which needed protection were the Cook Islands tuna fishery, the valuable black pearl industry, and help was needed to revive the clam industry.
He said a case last year, when the Cook Islands apprehended a Taiwanese fishing boat in its waters, and the subsequent legal case, alerted the Cooks to shortcomings in its legislation. For this reason, the delegation had spent time with Ministry of Fisheries compliance experts, talking about maritime patrolling, the legal structure, serious offences unit and training Fishery Officers.
The delegation had also discussed its regional and international obligations, and high seas fishing controls.