Pressure is growing on the government for a total ban on a controversial method of fishing which protestors say will severely damage the local industry and put islanders out of jobs. About 400 people marched through town in Rarotonga chanting their objections to purse seining, an on line petition has nearly 1,500 signatures and an international petition is also adding to the opposition. A "No fish, No Future" Facebook page has had around 1,300 likes as well. The petition calls on the government to sell no more purse seine fishing days, and phase them out altogether by March next year.
The government has signed a deal with the Korean fishing company Silla Co for 400 days of purse seine fishing, and a US fleet of purse seiners has been fishing in Cook Islands waters since 2012. Cabinet recently granted approval for more negotiations on the remaining 1,250 purse seine allocations for 2015. Top Left: purse seining in action (Photo: Greenpeace); bottom left: the protest march