Notice to Lagoon Boat Operators

Cook Islands Tourism
Ministry of Marine Resources advisory note to boat operators in the lagoon.

The Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR) would like to remind all boat operators to be especially careful when operating motored boats in the lagoon, and to be on the lookout for turtles near the surface. If you see a turtle near your boat, please do not approach it, steer towards it, or drive over it.

An injured green turtle was recently reported to MMR, and it had to be euthanised due to the severity of its injuries. Tourism related turtle encounters have increased significantly in recent years and so have the reports of inadvertent or inconsiderate actions towards turtles.

We understand that turtles can be fascinating creatures, but it is important to remember that they are wild animals and can be easily injured by boats. By following these simple guidelines, you can help to protect these important creatures and ensure their safety.

Here are some additional tips for boaters:

  • Slow down in areas where turtles are known to be present.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and scan the water for turtles before making any sudden movements.
  • If you do see a turtle, give it plenty of space and do not approach it.
  • If you accidentally hit a turtle, report the incident to the Ministry of Marine Resources immediately.
  • If you have any further queries, please contact MMR at +682 28721

    Thank you for your cooperation in helping to protect our turtles.