Don’t Devastate Wildlife With Dangerous Seafloor Mining

Target: Henry Puna, Prime Minister, Cook Islands

Goal: Cancel plans to begin underwater mining which could have disastrous effects.

The government of the Cook Islands, a country in the South Pacific, will allow mining companies to prospect for minerals on the bed of its 772,000 square mile coastline, all of which is protected area. Because research in this region of the South Pacific has only recently begun, the impact that mining would have is a mystery. However, experiences with the industry—which creates fumes, toxic mining waste, and chemical runoff—in other parts of the world have frequently resulted in death and destruction to marine life, reefs, commercial fishing populations, and human health.

The economy of the Cook Islands has been severely impacted by the loss of tourism revenue during the coronavirus pandemic, spurring the government to look to other sources to prop up its income. But researchers insist that, to preserve the Marae Moana (“Sacred Ocean”), a minimum of ten years will be needed to study the area and the risks mining would pose.

Sign the petition below to urge the prime minister of the Cook Islands to halt mineral prospecting for the foreseeable future to protect this unique and diverse spot for Cook Islanders and the world for generations to come.


Dear Prime Minister Puna,

The coronavirus pandemic has struck many countries in unforeseeable and devastating ways. With the loss of tourism revenue, it’s only natural that you would seek alternative methods to stabilize your economy and provide for your people.

However, the risks that come with selling off your country’s pristine and priceless oceans, home to countless species of marine wildlife in a delicate ecosystem upon which humans depend as well, are far too high a price.

I urge you to put an end to mineral prospecting in Cook Islands waters until a bare minimum of research has been carried out to assess the impact it would have. Even if little risk is found, you will have done your duty to generations of Cook Islanders by taking precautions.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Kydd Pollock

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One Comment

  1. Evan Jane Kriss says:

    NO NO NO!!! Sea floor mining PERMANENTLY DESTROYS coral reefs and is DISASTROUS to the health of marine ecosystems.

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