Aroa marine reserve has been a protected ecosystem for some ten years+. Aroa is the small locality situated on the south-western side of Rarotonga where the Rarotongan - Sanctuary resorts are located. The lagoon area is wide, reasonably shallow and sheltered from the strong SE winds for much of the time.
Aroa marine reserve is correctly termed a Ra'ui. This is a traditional form of protection bestowed by tribal and community leaders but which has no legislative code that enacts policy. Ra'ui' are more fluid as a conservtion measure and can be changed to suit the purpose of the covenant.
The Aroa marine reserve provides excellent viewing of representative tropical species including prolific fishlife, starfish, echinoderms, corals, sea cucumber, moray eels and molluscs. Some of the fish observed within the lagoon area include parrotfish, angelfish, wrasse, butterfly fish, trevally, goatfish and rock cods.
The reserve is a no-take zone while the Ra'ui is in place. The resort encourages fish to remain within the conservation zone through fish-feeding, guest awareness and schools education. All the efforts made by the local community and conservation measures are highly successful to date.
The Aroa marine reserve is a remarkable spot to snorkel, kayak, handfeed, photograph, swim and learn to scuba. The lagoon waters are high in clarity, often tranquil and very inviting. I always enjoy my experiences when visiting this spot. To learn more about the surrounding lagoon, the Big Fish dive centre located in Aroa are most knowledgeable about the fishlife and lagoon conditions.
Enjoy this lovely part of Rarotonga.
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