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McCully Calls For Action On Illegal Fishing

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Murray McCully
Murray McCully

Wellington, Feb 21 NZPA - New Zealand, Australia and the United States need to dramatically step up efforts to combat illegal fishing in the Pacific, Foreign Minister Murray McCully says.

Mr McCully used his speech to the US-NZ 2011 Partnership Forum in Christchurch this morning to make the call for action.

About $2 billion of fish a year is caught legally from 14 Pacific nations but another $400 million a year is illegally taken.

New Zealand is the largest provider of aerial surveillance and the US Coastguard supports its efforts.

"I believe the time has come for New Zealand, the US and Australia to dramatically step up our collective surveillance activity in the region to provide a comprehensive assault on illegal activity..."

Mr McCully said the US was a significant fishing nation in local waters and the US Tuna Treaty was worth about $32m to the Pacific. That treaty is being renegotiated.

Mr McCully also discussed other problems facing the Pacific; the lack of progress towards democracy in Fiji, drug smuggling and tsunamis.

He talked about the importance of the US-NZ relationship and a possible trade deal.

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