Author Archives: tstraza

Shark Sanctuary: One Year On

“And this, these are pa’u mango”, our guide said, pointing to a set of drums as he continued his explanation of the band’s instruments. “Mango means shark. Why shark? Because these [pointing to the drum heads] used to be made … Continue reading

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What’s up with the rori guts?

    Walking along the beach in Arorangi yesterday, I (Tiffany) started seeing sea cucumbers that looked a little… unhappy. Sea cucumbers, called rori here, are often present on the sandy lagoon floor right by the shore, looking a bit … Continue reading

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Giant clams – beautiful and endangered!

Today’s post is by Mareike Sudek, our ALMP Chief Science Officer. Mareike led the recent expedition to Aitutaki and has also recently surveyed other lagoons and reefs of the Cook Islands: Imagine diving down into the clear blue waters of … Continue reading

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Operation COT: crown of thorns sea stars

A purple and orange, slimy, spiky, dangerous eating machine: the crown of thorns starfish (COTS) (Acanthaster planci) eats coral. Normal low numbers of COTS are fine: some corals are eaten, but the reef as a whole remains healthy and the corals … Continue reading

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A day in the life of an ALMP volunteer

Today’s post is a guest post by Jess Trewin! Jess has a master’s in marine biology and has been volunteering with PICI while also obtaining her dive-master certification in Rarotonga. Here she is describing what it’s actually like to be … Continue reading

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Maintaining paradise: Akaiami clean-up

Each step along a beach can reveal new and interesting sights: hermit crabs, dried coral, beached coconuts, rocky pools full of snails, crabs, maybe an eel if you’re lucky. In the Cook Islands, it’s possible to spend lots of time … Continue reading

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ALMP visited Araura school!

The PICI and ALMP team are back from Aitutaki! We have lots of news to share over the next couple of weeks, so watch this space. I (Tiffany) had the pleasure of spending the last week of the project on … Continue reading

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See you in a week!

Kia orana, everyone. This will be a quieter week on the blog, as the entire PICI team will be on Aitutaki (3 of us are joining the ALMP group who’ve been there 2 weeks so far). There will be lots … Continue reading

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Brief update from Aitutaki

Kia orana! Just a short post today; we’ve heard from our ALMP team presently working in Aitutaki, surveying the corals, fish, and invertebrates. Sounds like they’ve had long days, but they get to spend them in a beautiful clear lagoon … Continue reading

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Three bottles blue

Walking along near Rutaki, I (Tiffany) found a beautiful blob on the beach. This pretty thing is called a bluebottle, and it’s a siphonophore, a type of marine cnidarian much like a jellyfish. There are a few around Rarotonga that … Continue reading

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