12 Jan 2016

Muri is safe, say Cook Islands authorities

4:10 pm on 12 January 2016

Cook Islands authorities insist a main swimming area off Rarotonga is safe for swimmers despite a growing bloom of algae.

Dark patches of algae spreading in Muri lagoon.

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

The Cook Islands Tourism Corporation chief Halatoa Fua says some people are enjoying the algae in Muri Lagoon because it is attracting fish.

He says recent news reports were sensationalised as there was only a small patch of non toxic algae offshore.

He says Muri's water is frequently analysed and is consistently good.

The Cook Islands News reports a significant amount of algae is washing up on the shore and covering the beach and tourists are unhappy to swim in the area.

The Ministry of Marine Resources secretary Ben Ponia says data suggests the bacteria levels are acceptable and should not pose a problem to humans.

There are proposals to dredge the lagoon to alleviate the problem.

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