Operation Taramea seeking funds to save corals

Thursday September 24, 2020 Written by Published in Environment
Kura Happ part of the Taramea Operation. Photo: KORERO O TE ORAU. 20092304 Kura Happ part of the Taramea Operation. Photo: KORERO O TE ORAU. 20092304

The need to remove the crown of thorns starfish or taramea as soon as possible is crucial, says Kōrero o te 'Ōrau.

The local non-government organisation is now calling on support through a Givealittle page, especially from those wishing to contribute from abroad.

The uncertainty around the recovery of reefs in the face of another taramea outbreak prompted immediate action.

“Kōrero o te ‘Ōrau is currently working with a team of community volunteers, dive operators, and tour operators to remove the taramea from the fore reefs of Rarotonga and Aitutaki,” the group said.

More than 1000 taramea have been removed by specialised free divers and scuba divers in Rarotonga alone since the eradication programme began in July.

According to Kōrero o te 'Ōrau; taramea are coral-eaters, and outbreaks in the 1970s and 1990s respectively devastated the reefs around Rarotonga.

It has taken the coral reefs around 20 years to recover from the second outbreak.

Marine biologist Dr Teina Rongo earlier said taramea invasion can lead to depletion of reef’s ecosystem.

Korero o te Orau advises that all donations sourced through Givealittle will go towards eradicating the coral-eating taramea and on going reef monitoring efforts in Cook Islands.

To donate visit Givealittle.co.nz/cause/operation-taramea-cook-islands.

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