Wednesday, 30 May 2007 7:46 AM

Fishing agreement with New Zealand

New Zealand and the Solomon Islands reached an agreement in Wellington on Tuesday with regards to fisheries.

New Zealand Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said the agreement ensures New Zealand flagged vessels play by the rules of other fishing nations when fishing in their waters. Jim Anderton said both governments want to promote strong cooperation in the fisheries sector.

Anderton stated that as neighbors in the Pacific, New Zealand fishing companies are well-placed to help with fisheries expertise.

The agreement formalizes access to New Zealand flagged vessels to fish in the Solomon Islands' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) under licenses issued by the Solomon Islands.

New Zealand flagged vessels fishing in Solomon waters must adhere to the Solomon Islands Fisheries Act, but the agreement signed means that this is also backed up by the New Zealand Fisheries Act.

"We want to ensure that New Zealand companies build on their already good reputation for being responsible international citizens," said Anderton.

A spokesman from the Department of Fisheries stated that New Zealand has a good reputation when it comes to such agreements. "It is really up to New Zealand to ensure that those that use their flags do not engage in illegal activities in our waters" the spokesman said. "Up until now New Zealand has maintained a very good track record"