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Cook Islands locals say foreign fishing trial hurts business

Local fishing businesses in Rarotonga say a three-month trial allowing foreign fishing vessels to sell their by-catch to retailers in the Cook Islands has pushed them out of the market.
The Business Trade Investment Board gave a Chinese company, Huanan Fisheries Ltd, the right to sell their frozen produce to local ships, which has been sold on to the local market.
The Board was hoping the trial would make it more competitive for consumers, but local fishing operators have complained they can’t compete.
The Cook Islands Fishing Association President, Don Beer, has written to the Board to tell it not to grant the company a permanent licence.
Mr Beer has told Cook Islands News that he is concerned about the competitive advantages of Huanan, including the company’s fleet volume and fast-freezing equipment, that allows it to sell fish for as little as 1 dollar 20 US a kilo.

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