10 Feb 2016

Plan to scrape algae off Cooks' Muri Lagoon

1:55 pm on 10 February 2016
Dark patches of algae spreading in Muri lagoon.

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

The Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce has initiated a process to scrape algae off the floor of Muri Lagoon.

The lagoon is considered one of the gems for tourists visiting Rarotonga but this summer a mass of algae has made it unsightly, and is deterring some visitors.

Wind in the area has been more benign than normal this summer and it is believed this has allowed the algae to form.

The president of the chamber and Muri business operator, Steve Lyon, who is also a marine scientist, said they have decided to take action and not to wait for a cyclone to remove the algae.

"We are going to use excavators to just scrape the surface of the lagoon floor to take the algae off the sandy bottom and remove it from the environment. We are doing a test area of about half a hectare to start with and we will be observing the environmental effects of doing that process. The idea is to scrape the algae, clean it up and then the natural wave action in the lagoon will just re-sort the sediment and we should see a rehabilitation of the lagoon floor."

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