Pacific Island Survey | Rarotonga

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May 17 – May 26, 2011

Arrive: Rarotonga
Length: 9
Focus: Sailing


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This is a film, dive and island focused expedition using the sailing boat as a base.

This leg is focused on video documentation of underwater and top-side conditions. The team will concentrate their work on documenting a range of habitat conditions, issues and human stories. These will be put into short video communications, a longer documentary, and raw footage stock. All three will be made available to the Cook Islands NGO’s and authorities to support their conservation work.

The survey will focus on local marine conservation issues alongside local NGOs and communities. These islands are mostly inhabited and demonstrate either destroyed, restored or managed marine environments.


Largest island of 67km2 and population 12,000.

The marine environment of Rarotonga has been affected by human activities in several areas. Coral is smothered by eroded soil and other material (e.g. pesticides, plastic containers) washed into the lagoon; 38 man-made structures alter the lagoon environment by affecting current flows; and heavy fishing of most of the edible resources may have caused the noticeable decline of many marine animals.

Declines in mussels and giant clams due to poisonous runoff from land. Coastal erosion and flooding. Overfishing is an issue since the introduction of modern fishing gear and SCUBA. Harvesting of trochus (very large sea snails) that naturally filter nutrients out of the water. Examples of pollution from septic and oil leaks.