Community declares war on unsightly lagoon algae

Friday October 16, 2015 Written by Published in Environment

The Ngatangiia community is banding together to clear the unsightly algae darkening the usually crystal blue waters of Muri lagoon.


Water Waste and Sanitation (WATSAN) unit of Infrastructure Cook Islands programme coordinator Jaime Short took to social media yesterday to call for volunteers to help get rid of the algae tomorrow at 6.30am.

CI News understands Ngatangiia leaders and Muri Enviroment Care met with government officials and technical advisers to seek information and advice on the proliferation of unusual algae in Muri lagoon.

They decided an immediate clearing of algae at a test site should be carried out and monitored, with the hope of ultimately getting to the bottom of the seaweed issue.

But the leaders decided it would be up to the community whether to continue removing the rest of the algae.

“The algae not only affects the aesthetic quality of Muri lagoon, but modifies the enviroment certain species live in and also traps sediment and provides a surface for other algae to latch and thrive on,” they said in a statement.

The test site will be about 25 metres in front of Pacific Resort near the shore.

Member of Parliament for Ngatangiia Tama Tuavera told CI News last month he believed effluent disposal into the lagoon was to blame for the problem.

CI News understands a joint report with input from the Ministry of Marine Resources, the National Enviroment Service and the Ministry of Health on the state of the lagoon, including water testing results, has been given to the Office of the Prime Minister. But despite several attempts CI News has been unable to obtain a copy of this.

Anyone wanting to assist in the project can get in touch with WATSAN.

Sturdy footwear should be worn due to reports of stone fish in the area and volunteers are asked to park at the Nukupure Sports ground parking area.

Registration is encouraged but not required. To register please call 54302 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leave a comment