The Cook Islands government has appointed a new Seabed Minerals Commissioner.
Local lawyer Alexandrya Herman will take over the Seabed Minerals Authority for the next three years from January.
Outgoing commissioner Paul Lynch has been in the role since 2012.
The authority is charged with advancing licensed exploration activities within the Cook Islands maritime zone.
Planned seabed mining activities were openly criticised in September by the prominent marine biologist and former Marae Moana marine reserve director Jacqui Evans.
Her subsequent removal from the government role drew criticism.