Friday, December 23, 2011

TIS Joins IUCN in Protecting the Marine Environment

IUCN Oceania Marine Coordinator, Jan Steffen visited the Cook Islands to meet with TIS and learn more about the marine programme that TIS wishes to implement. We are supportive of the establishment of a Marine Park as we believe this will encourage wider participation in the management of the Cook Islands biodiversity and it will draw attention to the Cook Islands because of the leadership and commitment we are demonstrating to step-up conservation in our country. While we are aware about plans to license purse seine fishing vessels and other large-scale commercial fishing boats, we believe that the marine park status will provide impetus to put conservation measures in place. This includes gear to avoid catching turtles and seabirds and conditions that prevent shark-finning in our waters. TIS is also concerned about the environmental impacts of seabed mining. TIS has also been involved with work of the Ministry of Marine Resources and Crown Law to draft regulations to strengthen the marine ra’ui (traditional prohibition on fishing). We are hopeful that we can work closely with IUCN to bring our marine programme to fruition.

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