FRENCH POLYNESIA INTRODUCES FISHERIES REHABILITATION PROGRAM FOR PRISONERS

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PAPE'ETE, French Polynesia (February 26, 2002 - Oceania Flash)---French Polynesia's territorial government this week launched a new rehabilitation program for prisoners focusing on fisheries, French Polynesia's President's Office said in a release Tuesday.

The first group of 12 prisoners began participating in the project following a small ceremony Tuesday chaired by the territory's Vice President Edouard Fritch.

The program, which basically introduces prisoners to the opportunities available in the fishing sector, is expected to build up into a rigorous fisheries curriculum.

"We intend, as a priority, to expand our flotilla, for the purposes of the economic development of French Polynesia," the release said. "And for all these new vessels, we need skilled workers."

Nuutania Prison training manager Yvan Colin said, "This is a great opportunity. . . that shows prison can help these people make a difference."

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