welcomes Cook Islands as 98th Party of the Convention. Cook
Islands thus follows other small island states initiatives
to support the Convention. The archipelago is situated in
the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii
to New Zealand.
Eight elevated, fertile, volcanic isles inhabited by most
of the population form the southern Cook Islands. The northern
Cook Islands have a rich marine biodiversity with low coral
atolls, which are a home to a great number of marine species.
Marine turtles use Cook Islands waters as major marine corridors.
Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill Turtle
(Eretmochelys imbricata) and the Leatherback Turtle
(Dermochelys coriacea) occur in these waters. Marine
turtles travel across different oceans thus linking distant
Three large whales species the Blue Whale (Balaenoptera
musculus), the Humpback Whale and the Northern Right
Whale travel on these vast marine corridors that link Oceania
to the Caribbean.
CMS membership will strengthen international and national
measures available to Cook Islands to conserve migratory
wildlife and their habitats. The Government deposited its
instruments of accession on 2 May. Cook Islands become a
Party on 1 August 2006.