||1.997 Sq Km
||Central South Pacific
|What is protected
||All shark and ray species
||How is it established
||By regulations under the Marine Resources Act
||12 Dec 2012
The Cook Islands declared
their waters a shark sanctuary on December 12, 2012.
This comes after more than 18 months of public
awareness and community consultations by the Pacific Islands
The shark sanctuary is established by regulations
under the Marine Resources Act (2005).
Regulations drafting thanks to Michael Balster,
an environmental attorney with Paul
These are the strongest possible measures under
the Act and will work as a deterrent as well as enforcement
mechanism. Fines are a minimum of $100,000.00NZD and a maximum
of $250,000.00NZD per offence. Both Masters and Owners are
As a result of these regulations community and
commercial fishermen have realised the importance of reporting
their shark catches accurately for research purposes. Although
sharks will no longer be brought on board any vessel, information
such as size estimate, species, condition and location will
Getting the job done
PICI has had significant support from many people
all around the globe in getting this shark sanctuary established.
We would like to thank first and foremost the people of the
Cook Islands who have accepted this and made this a reality.
It is a true bipartisan effort with support from all political
Thanks to Teina Bishop, Minister of Marine Resources
for listening to the arguments from all sides regarding sharks,
and making an informed and balanced decision.
Thanks to our local ambassadors who have stood
beside us and represented the cause to the community. Travel
Tou Ariki, Pa Teuruaa, Danny Mataroa, Tua Pittman, Teuira
Napa, Kate Ngatokorua, Alex Olah, Marion Marsters and Matiu
Thanks to the businesses that supported our
initial effort by providing us the means for our first media
campaign; CITC, Bergman and Sons, Air New Zealand, Pa's Treks,
Pacific Divers, Cook Islands News, Pacific Resort Hotel Group,
Cafe Salsa, Cook Islands Tourism and Cook Islands Marine.
Thanks to the PEW Environment Group for recognizing
the progress of our campaign and joining us over the past
9 months. The support of PEW has allowed our campaign to reach
all communities in the Cook Islands.
Along the way we have met some amazing individuals,
including Senator Tony DeBrum, Stefanie Brendl, Dr Shelly
Clarke, Lelei Peau, Lelei Lelaulu, Chuck Fox and of course
Madam Secretary Hillary Clinton. These people are avid environmental
advocates and all in their own way, are adding to the sensible
management and protection of our Marine Resources.
to our campaign story
What is The Honorable Hillary
Jess Cramp, programme manager for
PICI, thought of a great way of showing support for the protection
of sharks in the Cook Islands. 'We use a hand on top of our
head like a fin, to signal 'shark' when we scuba dive' says
Jess, who has been encouraging kids throughout the Cook Islands
to use the same signal to support our efforts.
At the Pacific Islands Forum, Jess
had an impromptu encounter with U.S. Secretary of State Clinton
and talked briefly about her work. Madam Secretary Clinton
was very engaging and showed a genuine interest in the conservation
efforts of Jess and the organisation she represents, the Pacific
Islands Conservation Initiative.
This personal interest confirms
her commitment to the statement made by the U.S. Secretary
of State to the Pacific Leaders in areas of environment and
By all accounts it looks like the
Honorable Hillary Clinton enjoyed her time in the Cook Islands.
She seemed very relaxed, approachable and sincere. Her staff
were very pleasant and the security detail, while present,
was not at all over stated. Thanks for your visit and support
See a collection
of local articles published in Cook Islands News relevant
to the campaign.
Page written and updated by Stephen Lyon,
14 December 2012