Marae Moana (Cook Islands Marine Park) Marine Park
Cook Islands made impression in New York (13 June 2017) Cook Islands News
"Home of Te Marae Moana, a marine park covering just under 2 million square kilometres, the Cook Islands showed how this country was displaying global leadership by committing its full ocean domain. It was announced the Marae Moana Bill will be tabled in Parliament next week, followed by the establishment of a Marae Moana coordination office.
The legislation and policy for the marine park were established after nationwide consultation consisting of five workshops and over 30 meetings.
A Marae Moana Action Plan is under development and will include contributions from all relevant government agencies, traditional leaders and non-government agencies.
These will be reviewed and evaluated by a technical advisory group and a new Marae Moana Council.
Agencies will also be required to align their policies and legislation with the overall principles of Marae Moana."
Crunch time for Marae Moana (13 Mar 2017) Cooks Islands News
"on Tuesday, March 14, the prime minister and five MPs who make up this powerful group of decision makers will be making a very important discussion.
These six individuals will decide what the size of the exclusion zones for foreign fishing boats in our Marae Moana Marine Park should be. We do hope the ministers have been provided, with the the information they need to help with their decision, and have read it.
As has been reported earlier, our prime minister has promised 50 nautical mile exclusion zones around all islands at several international meetings in recent years, including at US Secretary of State John Kerry’s State Department Ocean Conference, on June 17, 2014.
However, pressure from the Ministry of Marine Resources is apparently making him have second thoughts. And crunch time is approaching!
The Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR) has been actively pushing for only 24 nautical miles exclusion zones. They also tell us they have consulted with the northern group about how big these no foreign fishing zones will be. However, we now know that in fact the people were told that the protection zones would be increased from 12 miles to 24 miles.
Options for larger zones were not discussed at all. Meanwhile, we believe some of the outer islands consulted recently by our traditional leaders in the southern group have said they prefer 100 nautical mile zones not 24, in order to protect their fishing livelihoods.
If the people of the Cook Islands want to have a say about the size of foreign fishing exclusion zones around our islands, now would be a good time to do so."
Marae Moana to cover all of Cooks' EEZ (15 Nov 2016) RadioNZ.co.nz
The Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna has told the UN climate change conference in Morocco that his country's marine reserve zone will now encompass its entire exclusive economic zone.
This will mean the Marae Moana sanctuary will span 1.8 million square kilometres, after initially being intended for the management of the EEZ's around the southern islands only.
A number of international agencies are offering support for Marae Moana, with Conservation International confirming it will be the Pacific region's flagship project for its Conservation Equity offshoot.
Mr Puna will also be speaking with other prospective sponsors during the COP22 in Morocco to seek help with the project which is expected to cost millions to implement.
Marae Moana policy finally finished (3 March 2016) Cook Islands News
After a year of discussion, the Marae Moana Oceans Policy is now with Prime Minister Henry Puna who will present it to Cabinet.
The policy, which guides the management and use of the Cook Islands marine environment, has been formulated in consultation with the public and other stakeholders.
The final version of the policy was agreed at a stakeholder meeting that ended on February 8.
On Tuesday the Prime Minister’s Office acknowledged receiving the policy, adding Puna will put that into action when he returns from a visit to the northern group where he and other CIP MPs are holding fishery discussions.
In a statement, Marae Moana Marine Park project manager Jacqui Evans said a “Legally Designating Marae Moana,” meeting had also been held last month to examine the pros and cons of closed ocean zones.
Massive marine park for Cook Islands being finalized - July 21, 2015
From Waitt Foundation website:
"In August 2012, Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna announced the establishment of a 1,065,000 square kilometer multiple use marine park that will “provide the necessary framework to promote sustainable development by balancing economic growth interests such as tourism, fishing and deep-sea mining, with conserving core biodiversity and natural assets, in the ocean, reefs and islands.” Previously, he had created a marine park steering committee of traditional leaders, civil society and key government agencies to help design and build support for the park.
Exactly how much of the 1.1 million square kilometers will be no-take and where it will be located has not yet been determined. However, there is widespread support among steering committee members and most government officials to fully protect at least 20% of the park. It is likely that significant portions of this area will be located around islands and seamounts. Steering committee members also widely support co-management of marine resources among traditional leaders, civil society and government.
The Prime Minister’s proposal presently only includes the southern portion of the Cook Islands. However, this project also will support outreach and consultation with communities in the Northern Islands. Many Northern residents have expressed support for including their region in the planning process for the park. The Northern Cook Islands includes significantly more commercial fishing, as well as potential seabed mineral mining interests. As such, it may be more difficult to secure large fully protected areas in that region.
Cooks Opposition: PM Mislead UN Over Marine Park Claims (11 Jan 2016) Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai'i