Hundreds march in Tahiti against building of floating islands

Hundreds of people in French Polynesia have marched against plans by the US-based Seasteading Institute to build floating islands off Tahiti.

The march by residents of Mataiea was held despite a statement by the government of Edouard Fritch in February that its deal with the Americans had become void.

The demonstrators, who included local fishermen and families, are opposed to building the islands in the Atimaono lagoon, saying the area is their food source.

The government said its agreement with the Seasteading Institute was not a legal document and that it expired at the end of 2017.

It also said it hoped that this would end the debate about the floating islands.

The Seasteading Institute, which has the backing of New Zealand billionaire businessman Peter Thiel, approached French Polynesia because it found that its links to France, its autonomy and calm waters offered a suitable environment for the project.