Fishing agreement

PRIME Minister and Minister for Marine Resources Henry Puna signed the fishing agreement after meeting the Solicitor-General David James and Secretary of Marine Resources Ben Ponia.

The signatory on behalf of the EU is the President of the Council of the EU, Donald Tusk.

Under the partnership, the Cook Islands will receive about $US7million ($F14.4m) over a 4-year period in return for providing access to four European flagged purse seine fishing vessels, which will target the migratory and abundant skipjack tuna.

The agreement includes a protocol to fish up to 7000 tonnes per annum — about 156 fishing days or 12 per cent of the Cook Islands’ 1250 fishing day quota set by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

The financial returns of the SFPA exceed other bilateral arrangements, including the US Fisheries Treaty package.

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