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Regional News

Chinese subsidies damaging Pacific tuna sector

NUKU’ALOFA (Pacnews) — The Pacific Islands tuna industry maintains that fishing pressure on southern albacore tuna is in truth much worse than the figures suggested by scientific studies.

Moreover, the Pacific Islands Tuna Industry Association  stated that a fleet of new Chinese boats has made it impossible for local fishers to make a living as part of the industry.

In the last two years, between 200-250 new Chinese vessels have arrived in the fishery, the association estimates, and there is now a total of about 590 Chinese and Taiwanese vessels actively fishing.

The group’s chairman, Charles Hufflett, said the big fuel subsidies the Chinese pay their fleet are having a damaging effect because they make it impossible for the Pacific Industry to compete with them.