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By Manava Media

AITUTAKI, Cook Islands (February 25, 1999 - Cook Islands News)---Thirty-two tons of Aitutaki trochus shells are now being turned into millions of buttons in England, and the Island Council believes another harvest is possible at the end of the year.

Every family on Aitutaki which filled their trochus quotas earned an average of $600 just before Christmas -- money that was welcomed by the island where so many are unemployed.

Mayor Tai Herman said they harvested "a lot more (trochus) than what was recommended by Marine Resources."

He believes taking an extra four tons of trochus wasn't irresponsible because harvesting used to happen only every three years.

And this year's trochus collection won't be as big as last year's, assures Herman.

Aitutaki exported mostly A grade shells to England, earning the island $300,000.

For additional reports from the Cook Islands News Online, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Cook Islands New Online.

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