An environmental activist in the Cook Islands says the government must listen to the experts on the merits of seabed mining.

The Cook Islands is reputed to have billions of dollars worth of mineral-laden nodules on its ocean floor and is keen to exploit them.

It is opposed to a call for a 10 year moratorium on deep-sea mining as called for at last year’s Pacific Islands Forum summit.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Mark Brown, said such a moratorium would stifle research.

But environmentalist Jacqui Evans, said the government had people looking at the nodules but not on the impact on the water and marine life.

“If they listened to the advisors, the ones who have learnt about environmental sampling and who understand what’s involved in doing research in marine biodiversity, then they would know that it takes a very long time to gather this information,” she said.

“We don’t know anything about our deep ocean and the impacts of mining on it,” said Brown.

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