24 Jan 2007

Cook Islandss to survey reef fish numbers and species

3:12 pm on 24 January 2007

The Cook Islands government, with a team from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, or SPC, is planning to survey reef fish numbers and species.

This comes as the country plans to try restoring damaged reefs through planting corals.

A ten member SPC team is to arrive in the Cook Islands in three weeks.

The Cook Islands acting director for aqua culture at the ministry of fisheries, Kori Raumea, says the survey will give a good indication of marine life in the area.

"The first phase will be for Palmerston, which will be done for ten days and then the other ten days for Aitutaki. We will be counting invertebrates and we will be doing some surveys on corals for the fish."

Mr Raumea says the ministry will also conduct a socio-economic survey on fish consumption.