17 Aug 2015

Academic sees merit in Cooks mining exploration

7:31 am on 17 August 2015

A New Zealand academic says seabed mining exploration could help fill gaps in scientific knowledge.

Waters off the Cook Islands

Waters off the Cook Islands Photo: 123RF

There's been calls from Pacific NGOs for a moratorium on seabed mining exploration.

The Cook Islands last week opened bidding on licences for exploring the seabed's potential for mining.

A law professor at the University of Waikato, Barry Barton, says the exploration could help shed light on unanswered questions.

"At the early stages there is going to be a lot of benefit to be had in getting to understand the ocean resources and the ocean environments of the Cook Islands. So there is an element of opportunity at a minimum to start getting environmental baseline information to guide decision makers of the future."

University of Waikato Professor Barry Barton.