Officials Deny Foreign Fishing In Kiribati’s Phoenix Islands

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Protected marine area official says media reports wrong

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (The Kiribati Independent, July 1, 2013) – Director of Kiribati’s Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) has denied reports that their marine reserves have been fished by some foreign fishing boats.

Tuukabu Teroroko says this is a no-fishing area where fish species are being kept and preserved for future generation and he has not found or heard of fishing activity there.

Speaking to Kiribati Independent newspaper in Tarawa, Tuukabu says he’s aware that reporters are trying to look for stories that sell to the market which is why the reporter has chosen PIPA because the eyes of the world now focused on Kiribati.

Tuukabu says the reports are wrong.

He says eight countries are supporting Kiribati’s commitment to projecting marine resources.

Tuukabu says apart from the marine reserves, officials have found more than ten thousand different birds on one of the eight islands in the group.

He says only 35 people living on Phoenix island, all of them are employed by government and are not expected to cut copra or sell anything from the island as they regularly receive their paycheck from government.

Meanwhile PIPA has imposed a US$20.00 entry fee on any visitor with certain requirements they should adhere to while on the island.

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