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European Union purse seiners start fishing in Cook Islands waters

A Cook Islands News reported in February 2017 that one of the purse seine vessels involved in the European Union (EU) fisheries partnership agreement has started fishing in the Cook Islands' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

According to the Cook Islands News report, the Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR) confirmed it had given licences to two of the four purse seine vessels which are part of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA).

The fisheries agreement between the EU and the Cook Islands to allow the European fleet to fish in our waters and catch up to 7000 tonnes per year of tuna and other annual migratory species for the next four years, was finalised earlier in February by the European Parliament.

More on: Cook Islands News


Conservation Plan on bigeye tuna stock

World Fisheries Day for 2016 came and went on Monday, November 21.

Those responsible for managing the fishery resources in the Cook Islands were noticeably quiet on that day.

Coincidentally - or perhaps not, the next day there was a story in the Cook Islands News from our Prime Minister saying that his vision for the Marae Moana is to set best practice benchmarks first and foremost for conservation. This sounds like great news for our fishery resources, and below are a few tips from leading tuna scientists that can help him achieve his vision.

Fishery scientists, including those associated with Te Ipukarea Society, have been concerned for a number of years now about the decline of bigeye tuna stocks in the West and Central Pacific Ocean.

conserve bigeye tuna








More on:Cook Islands bigeye Tuna  


Marine Conservationist and Shark Researcher recieves satellite tags from MMR

The MINISTRY of Marine Resources has donated satellite tags to marine conservationist and shark researcher Jessica Cramp for research in the Cook Islands on the effectiveness of marine reserves on wide-ranging sharks.

The set of satellite tags wasleft over from the successful 2012 swordfish (broadbill) tagging project and are typically worth several thousand dollars each. The technology allows for the attached tag to record and transmit information on movement, locations and more.  “I’m thrilled that MMR has shown support for my research by donating these tags.  I am not paid to do this research and rely on grant funding to achieve my research aims, so the donation of these tags absolutely contributes to understanding how to better manage migratory sharks not just in the Cooks, but in the greater Pacific,” says Cramp.

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More on:saterllite tags

SPC coordinates `Oceans and Tides Workshop` in Cook Islands

Regional ocean science experts are in Cook Islands this week as part of a major initiative to strengthen the understanding and application of climate, ocean and sea level information in the Pacific Islands region.

The Cook Islands Meteorological Service has called upon the Pacific Community (SPC) to assist in hosting and facilitating an Oceans and Tides Workshop which opened in Rarotonga yesterday. 

“Ocean and tides have a major influence on many key economic sectors in the Cook Islands, from tourism and shipping to pearl farming and subsistence fishing,” the Director of the Cook Islands Meteorological Service, Arona Ngari, said.  “The Cook Islands Met Service is keen to improve and further develop our services for these marine stakeholders.”  

rarotonga workshop