The Cook Islands Minister for the Ministries of Marine Resources and Education has returned from China greatly encouraged by agreements on Cook Islands’ fishing and pearls industries.
Teine Bishop Bishop has told the Cook Islands Herald that Cook Islands’ economic future lies with China.
He says the Chinese Fishing Association now holds 17 of the 20 Cook Islands’ exploratory licenses for big eye tuna and swordfish. The return to government is NZ$810,000 [US$612,000] per year.
China’s Luen Tai Fishing company plans to process Cook Islands Tuna loins through either Vietnam or China for sale in New Zealand under a Cook Islands brand name.
Bishop says the Luen Tai company may base its fishing fleet at Penrhyn.
Meanwhile, the minister says a Chinese manufacturer will supply floats to Cook Islands pearl farmers, making big savings on costs, and that professors and students from the Shanghai Ocean University will visit Cook Islands pearl farms and research the industry’s needs.