Ocean Minerals and Moana Minerals chief executive Hans Smit at the Avatiu Harbour in front of the Anu Anua Moana on Wednesday. PHOTO: JOANNE HOLDEN/23110807
Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Authority team and the Moana Minerals team are off on another seabed minerals expedition, and this time it is between the waters of Aitutaki and Rarotonga.
Seabed Minerals Commissioner
Alex Herman told Cook Islands News yesterday the team will embark on a Cook
Islands led research expedition called ARTOX2023 on board the Anu Anua Moana.
“It is a short expedition between Rarotonga and Aitutaki, this is a milestone because now Cook Islands have started to lead independent expeditions themselves.” Herman said this was a proud moment for the Cook Islands as the nation has started to handle expeditions.
“We have all this other data that is coming in from other sources, other research institutions, companies, but this is one that we are doing ourselves.” She said that over the next two days, the vessel will deploy a remotely operated vehicle that can dive 5 kilometres below sea level and capture video images to see what is out there.
“And they will also collect
biological samples because we are trying to get a better understanding of the
marine life that exists.
“Exciting times for us and I
can’t wait to see the data from that expedition to come out, and when it does
come out we will release it publicly so more people can see all the information
under the expedition programme,” she said.
Two visiting marine biology
experts from the United Kingdom have joined the expedition.
Also traveling are Fisheries
staff, an observer and SBMA team who get off in Aitutaki, along with biologists