An environmental NGO, Te Ipukarea Society, has called on the Cook Islands Government to ban the use of fish aggregation devices (FAD) when fishing.
Kelvin Passfield from the environmental NGO, he says that the Cook Island Government is turning a blind eye on the issue of conservation, and the fact that an enormous population of young fish are shortened due to these fishing techniques.
Following a protest in March, the Cook Island Government has defended their fishing policy.
A statement from the secretary of the Ministry of Marine Resources, Ben Ponia, claims that the government has set up a ban.
“We are taking measures. Currently we are implementing a four-month FAD closure, so for four months of the year, FADs are not allowed to be deployed by purse seine fishing vessels,” he says.
Apart from that, Ponia says that the government is also seeking other ways to minimise the amount of catches of the bigeye longline fisheries, so that it reduces the overall impact of the mortality of those stocks.
He also added that the fishing industry in the island is small yet a major contributor towards the country’s economy and to taint the industry might affect the country in a big way.