Wellington Scoop

Mass deaths of fish in Otaki River estuary; but scientists say the water is safe

News from Wellington Regional Council
There have been mass deaths of NZ Smelt at the estuary of the Otaki River. The Cawthron Institute has confirmed there is no sign of harmful algal blooms in the water samples.

The evidence gathered suggests natural death from a mass shoal stranding in the estuary. No sources of contamination or pollution have been established and Regional Public Health has confirmed they are comfortable with us lifting the previous recommendation in relation to not fishing, gathering or playing in the estuary – they have had no related reports to them of sickness/illness. So people may resume normal activities in the estuary.

To report an environmental incident to Greater Wellington Regional Council, phone the environment hotline on 0800 496 734. If you would like more information on reporting incidents and our response, please visit our website http://www.gw.govt.nz/report-an-environmental-incident/

Stranding of fish and marine mammals is not uncommon. We cannot comment on the causes.

News from Wellington Regional Council – November 23
Our Regulation Department has been investigating the mass death of fish in the mouth of the Otaki River. There is no obvious cause of death and no sources of pollution or contamination have been found.

There is no obvious sign of a pollutant/contaminant, and we are considering other possible causes.

Our Environmental Protection Team Duty officer has visited the site, and is analysing the water and carcasses to determine if a natural marine ecotoxin may be responsible. Other causes have not yet been ruled out.

At this stage we recommend that people do not fish, gather mahinga kai or undertake recreational activities in the water in the estuary. We expect to have more information within the next 24hrs.

1 comment:

  1. ROBO, 23. November 2017, 3:55

    what’s wrong with the world these days? Poor fishes.