Foreign Minister Murray McCully has described the Pacific as, “the last major fishery on the planet that has not been exploited beyond the point of sustainability”. McCully who was speaking at a US-NZ Partnership Forum in Christchurch stated that approximately more than NZ$300 million worth of fish is being stolen per year.
NZ$1.5 billion of legitimate fishing takes place in economic zones declared by the Pacific States. The issue is that these states lack the money and resources to surveillance each area and protect the fish.
According to McCully some of these Pacific States were living in “sub Saharan levels of poverty”
A report last year concluded that fish stocks within the Pacific could collapse by 2035 if overfishing, population growth and climate change was not addressed.