Cooks hauls in fish dollars

Korea, Kiribati pay for services

PURSE seining revenue has accounted for the majority of fisheries revenue collected by the Cook Islands since 2014. According to Cooks Islands Fisheries Ministry submission to the country’s Purse Seining Special Select Committee, the increase in revenue has been in part directly associated with the vessel day price paid by the US Fisheries Treaty for the Cook Islands pool.

In addition, the Cook Islands has entered into bilateral fishing days with the US industry since 2014, and in 2015 there were large revenues associated with bilateral fishing days sold to the KoreanKiribati fleet. While the Cook Islands does not have the capacity for large-scale economic opportunities, a small tuna processing facility for 1500 tonnes in Rarotonga may be feasible. Penrhyn Harbour may also be utilised as a base for offloading, storing and transhipment of catch.

Local stevedores and labourers may be employed for maintenance of the purse seine net and other work. The ministry believes significant licensing revenues can be derived from the fishery provided government has the institutional capacity for scientific reporting of catches, monitoring and compliance of the fishing vessels, and sound fisheries policies. According to a study of fisheries revenues the access value of foreign fleet licenses in the region increased from $US92 million in 2007 to $US349 million in 2014.

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