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FIJI’S TUNA INDUSTRY NEAR COLLAPSE Fishermen seek repeal of taxes

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 3, 2008) – Fiji's tuna industry has warned it is on the brink of collapse, with industry officials calling for urgent action from the Fiji government.

Radio Australia's Pacific Beat reports the Tuna Boat Owners Association wants the lifting of duties and taxes which it says are not paid by foreign boats.

Fiji's tuna industry has been in trouble for some time, as over the past three years the industry has shrunk by two thirds.

Last weekend, four more vessels were auctioned after being repossessed because their owners could not repay loans to the Fiji Development Bank.

The president of the Tuna Boat Owners Association, Graham Southwick, wants the government to lift a host of duties and taxes that he says are driving local fishermen to the wall.

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