31 Mar 2011

Pacific vaka expedition to raise environmental issues

1:30 pm on 31 March 2011

Green power is to take seven traditional vaka on an expedition of re-discovery across the Pacific over the next month.

Powered by the sun and the wind, five of the double-hulled traditional ocean going vaka will leave from Auckland and sail to Hawaii via French Polynesia.

Another two craft will join the fleet in Tahiti.

The vaka make up a pan-Pacific network of voyaging societies which aim to raise awareness of environmental issues.

These include ocean noise pollution, acidification and anoxic waters - in tandem with recapturing traditional Pacific voyaging and navigational skills and re-establishing cultural links between Pacific neighbours.

The network is supported by Okeanos, a German-based philanthropic organisation, which promotes the protection of the world's oceans and marine life.