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Cook Islands Denies Issuing Any Purse Seine Licenses Cook Islands, January 22, 13

The Marine Resources Minister Teina Bishop has given assurances that the Cook Island government has not issued purse seining licenses and denies that the method is significantly depleting tuna stocks.

Cook Islands Marine Resource Minister Teina Bishop

16 purse seine vessels that fish in the Cook Islands belong to a longstanding treaty signed in 1984 with the United States, which gives them free right of entry to fish in any Pacific Islands waters.

The opposition leader Wilkie Rasmussen says the government recently approved long-line fishing and purse seining licenses to an Asian company.

But Mr. Bishop says outside of the ongoing US treaty, the government has not issued any purse seining license.

“He’s wrong, we haven’t issued any purse seining license yet, licenses come up annually and at the moment we only have a long-line fishery that we license for. We haven’t licensed any purse seining boat to fish in our waters yet as such.”

Teina Bishop says what the cabinet has approved is a purse seine exploratory fishing system which would benefit northern communities.

Cook Islands