4 Dec 2015

Algae bloom in Cooks lagoon not new - business owner

7:59 am on 4 December 2015

A Rarotonga hotel operator says an algal bloom in Muri lagoon will likely fix itself as the weather starts to warm up.

Dark patches of algae spreading in Muri lagoon.

Dark patches of algae spreading in Muri lagoon. Photo: RNZI/Varo Media

The Cook Islands government has proposed to dredge the lagoon which has seen rise in nitrogen levels and the spread of a dark seaweed, causing concern about the quality of water and the potential effects on tourism.

But the owner of Muri Beach resort, Paul Pearson says dredging could be disastrous.

He says the algae is nothing new and not unusual.

"It has happened almost every year I have been here in certain degrees, it's got worse, and some years it's better than others. And I think it's a natural phenomena which you get in a lagoon. I don't know whether it's because some people don't like it this year, who knows. To me, it's not a problem."

Mr Pearson says he has not seen a drop in tourism numbers at his hotel due to the algal bloom.