The Cook Islands government has announced plans for a task force to start working on details for a huge maritime reserve.
The government first announced plans for the reserve, now called the Marae Moana, during the 2012 summit for leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum, which was held in the Cook Islands.
The task force is to work on a policy framework for the scheme.
The chief of staff in the prime minister's office, Elizabeth Wright-Koteka, says this will allow draft legislation to be presented to cabinet and should be completed by June.
The Marae Moana is to be one of the largest in the world, covering 1.1 million square kilometres in the waters of the southern Cooks.