NES staff on board the MV Anuanua Moana Research Expedition

Two NES Staff members embarked on a Research Expedition aboard the vessel MV Anuanua Moana to undertake essential monitoring, inspections and enforcement activities. The expedition was done collaboratively with the Seabed Minerals Authority (SBMA), led by its Technical Director John Parianos.
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Two NES Staff members embarked on a Research Expedition aboard the vessel MV Anuanua Moana to undertake essential monitoring, inspections and enforcement activities. The expedition was done collaboratively with the Seabed Minerals Authority (SBMA), led by its Technical Director John Parianos.

Environmental Compliance Officer Hugh Henry joined the initial phase of the research expedition. Following the completion of the first leg, Senior Environmental Compliance Officer Junior Tapoki took over the final leg of the expedition’s vital mission. 

Hugh Henry stated “as an inspector on board, I was given many opportunities to interact with the crew in handling different types of equipment. The expedition prepares you to deploy and recover sampling equipment successfully.  You have to demonstrate resilience and competence as some of this work is technical. It was an enjoyable experience”.

Junior Tapoki joined as his third research expedition but his first as an official inspector. His experience from previous research expeditions prepared him well for this role. Tapoki stated that his experience was important to see the diverse range of equipment utilised to retrieve nodules for research purposes. 

Junior stated “understanding the voyage objectives is key for an inspector, however, more importantly is to understand our role as environmental compliance officers. With the recently approved Environment Seabed Minerals Activities Regulations, we have a role to play in assessing the environmental impact from seabed minerals activities”.

The collaboration from both NES and SBMA highlighted the commitment of both agencies fostering a holistic approach towards the research expedition and environmental stewardship. Both Hugh and Junior acknowledge SBMA for the opportunity to experience this first-hand, highlighting capacity building in enforcement and compliance. 

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The National Environment Service is established to protect, conserve and ensure the Cook Islands environment is managed sustainably. The agency is headed by a Director with delegated powers to carry out the functions of the Environment Act 2003.

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