Draft legislation has been presented to the Cook Islands cabinet on the new Marine Resources Act.
Peter Graham, the acting director of the ministry of Marine Resources, says they intend to repeal the1989 legislation because it's now necessary to update the act.
It will include marine protected areas which would have separate management plans to take into account local customs and traditions.
Mr Graham says they're hoping the legislation will be in place early next year.
"I think the intention is that each Marine Protected Area will have a marine management plan specific to that area, and that the community of that particular area will sort of take ownership of that and they will help police it, so to speak."
Pete r Graham, the acting director of the Ministry of Marine Resources.