A French Polynesian opposition politician Moetai Brotherson says he doubts the planned Chinese $US320 million fish farm on Hao atoll will ever go ahead.
Last month, the government published details of its agreement with Tahiti Nui Ocean Foods which has been granted an array of tax concessions to set up its operation on Hao – a former forward base for the French nuclear weapons testing programme, RNZI reports.
The atoll has a runway almost four kilometres long and a port to allow for the fish to be freighted out.
The project is expected to create 600 permanent jobs on Hao but Mr Brotherson said it is neither economically, nor environmentally viable.
“They want to put more than 2,000 fish cages into the lagoon of Hao which is known to be polluted by radioactive waste. To us, doing aquaculture in a polluted lagoon is a total nonsense because who wants to eat fish that comes from a polluted lagoon?”
Moetai Brotherson said the project relied on importing six kilogrammes of sardines from Argentina to produce one kilogramme of grouper.