Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative
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Current Projects

Cook Islands Turtle Project

This project, initially a 3 year research project, is currently planning for next 3 years beyond 2012. The project is conducting a series of ongoing research programmes with associated activity in order to build a knowledge base of Sea Turtle behaviour for the Cook Islands, strengthen the institutional capacity to protect Sea Turtles and build community awareness of the need for conservation.

For more information on the Turtle Project, the current work being carried out and what has been achieved so far visit the turtle page, here


Cook Islands Shark Sanctuary

Visit our Shark page for more detailed information.

The Cook Islands has a very large EEZ, taking up a significant area of the central east tropical South Pacific. There are commercial Tuna fisheries active in the waters of the Cook Islands and many fishing vessels transit through these waters heading to American Samoa to offload catch.

The Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative is very concerned about the serious decline and future plight of sharks worldwide, being heavily diminished by slaughtering for the lucrative asian shark fin trade.

There is no customary fishing of sharks in the Cook Islands, and sharks hold a special place of reverence in many Cook Islands legends. Protecting these creatures would be a step that protects a key identity of these remote island communities.

In addition, legislation protecting sharks and making the possession of shark material illegal would have the effect of supporting current fisheries laws and give enforcement agencies more scope as they battle the huge burden of illegal fishing in the Cook Islands waters.

Aitutaki Lagoon Monitoring Project

Visit the ALMP site to get althe information on this eco-volunteer project assisting the community of Aitutaki manage their lagoon.

Conservation Education Project

Following on from a successful educational episode with the remote community or Rakahanga, the Cook Islands Ministry of Education have engaged PICI to develop educational material that covers environmental and conservation issues in the Cook Islands.

4 topics will be developed with resources for students and teachers alike, as well as field projects so students can gt out in the environment and see what they are learning about. Each topic is structured to include several cirriculum objectives making them an appicable and interesting way to earn educational credits.

Rubbish Roundup

Each September PICI plans a month of clean up events around Rarotonga. The focus is on coastal areas and underwater cleanups. This year we partnered with the Nartional Environment Service and Cook Islands Trading Corporation to deliver 7 events. Over 1.5 Tonnes of rubbished was removed from Rarotonga's environment, much of it recyclable.

As part of the clean ups we seperate and weight all waste, with plastics, cans and glass all going to their respective recycling centres.

View an Image Gallery for rubbish Roundup.

Northern Group Waste Removal Project

The Cook Islands are vastly spread out and our Northern atolls of Manihiki, Rakahanga, Pukapuka and Penrhyn are highly vulnerable to the effects of waste, especially hazadous wastes and chemicals. PICI is developing a strategy to collate, sort and backship waste to Rarotonga for recycling or processing, rather than have the waste buried on the islands where leaching is effecting the lagoon.

The intent is to establish the process then hand over to the government for ongiong operation.


Page updated by Stephen Lyon, 16 December 2012



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