5 Oct 2017

Black pearl lagoon in Cook Islands being restored to health

7:30 am on 5 October 2017

A major clean up of the lagoon has been completed in the black pearl producing island of Manihiki in the northern Cook Islands, to improve pearl production and quality.

Local dive company, Pacific Divers, won the lagoon clean up contract and over 90 days it cleared almost 350 hectares of the lagoon of discarded ropes, floats, roofing iron, tyres and plastic piping.

The removed material weighed a total 230 tonnes.

While the activity focussed around the Manihiki pearl farms, the government's Development Co-ordination Division says the project will have a positive impact on overall lagoon health and its ability to continue as an important source of food for the Manihiki community.

Manihiki is the biggest producer of black pearls in the Cook Islands.

Manihiki Lagoon

Manihiki Lagoon Photo: RNZI/Florence Syme Buchanan