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New Zealand helps Tongan deepwater fisheries development

New Zealand helps Tongan deepwater fisheries development


A programme to help Tonga maximise the economic benefits of commercial fishing has been launched in the country’s capital, Nuku’alofa.

Coinciding with a visit to Tonga by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, the $2.7m NZ government-funded project draws together expertise from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), the South Pacific community, Tonga’s government and fishing industry.

The aim is to develop a well-managed, sustainable line fishery for deepwater fish in Tonga’s Exclusive Economic Zone

Project leader and NIWA fisheries scientist Dr Stuart Hanchet aid the project was funded by the NZ Aid Partnership Programme and partners will explore ways to maximise economic returns and develop new market opportunities.

“Biological sustainability and improved management are also key objectives,” Dr Hanchet said.

The project builds on the recently approved Tongan Deepwater Fisheries Management Plan by providing key information to support implementation of the plan.

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