03 Oct 2016
By Wright Communications
A scientific team is currently on, in and under the water around Niue recording its natural treasures as one of a small list of unspoiled locations on the planet.
Niue Tourism Chief executive Felicity Bollen says the Niue visit is part of National Geographic's Pristine Seas project, whose mission is to "find survey and protect the last wild places in the ocean."
Led by explorer, author and Royal Geographical Society Vice-President Paul Rose, the survey team aboard the "Island Passage" will spend much of October carrying out comprehensive marine scientific surveys around the island, focusing in particular on the wild windward side, before heading 120 nautical miles southeast to chart remote Beveridge Reef. The team is working in conjunction with the Niue Government and includes four Niuean scientists.
Felicity says Niue is one of just 19 locations chosen for a Pristine Seas visit - the only other South Pacific sites being Kiribati and Rapa Iti. She says Pristine Seas' motivation is to map the locations, raise awareness of their unspoiled nature and help protect their marine environments from encroachment by long-distance fishing fleets and other threats. "They have also been drawn by the beauty of our waters and the strong connection between the Niuean people and the sea."
Pristine Seas' expedition progress can be followed on Paul Rose's blog at http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/
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