22 May 2017

Cooks implement short-term measures to improve Muri lagoon

10:57 am on 22 May 2017

Authorities in the Cook Islands are zeroing in on a range of short-term measures to try and improve the quality of Rarotonga's Muri lagoon.

Call to save Cook Islands' Muri lagoon from algal bloom

Photo: RNZ / YouTube

The lagoon, a key attraction, is feeling the strain of nutrient runoff, pollution and the effects of an increasing population and locals and tourism operators alike are worried about its degradation.

In January, the government launched Mei Te Vai Ki Te Vai to improve water quality in the country.

The project's deputy manager, Daryl Rairi, said the organisation was working on long-term measures like sewerage systems, which could be years away.

In the meantime, he said six short-term measures have been proposed to the Muri community, which could be launched within months.

"Most of the groups chose sediment removal, reducing sediment nutrients in the lagoon, and enforcing or improving regulations. Some of the regulations, that could start as soon as possible. Those could start."