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Monitoring of the environmental effects of Rena

Thursday, 3 November 2011 10:00 a.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is developing a long term plan for monitoring the environmental effects caused by the Rena cargo ship grounding near Tauranga.

The monitoring plan is being developed in partnership between local government authorities, central government agencies and iwi.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Science Manager Rob Donald said that the plan will cover the areas that are known to have received oil and container debris and this may involve monitoring for several years.

"We will not be aware for some time of the full impact upon the Bay of Plenty coastline of the Rena grounding and monitoring will be our best way to understand the impact on our beaches and marine life," said Mr Donald.

"In the first instance we want to be able to give the health authorities the information they need to advise the public on the safe recreational use of beach areas and the safety of seafood," he said.

Environmental monitoring began after the grounding of the Rena on 5 October.  This involved baseline sampling of water, sediment and seafood before the oil impacted on the coastline and offshore islands.

"These samples are being analysed and the results will be compared to samples that are known to have come into contact with the oil," Mr Donald said. 

Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service Medical Officer of Health, Dr Jim Miller said that people should continue to follow public health advice not to collect shellfish, crabs, crayfish, kina and seaweed in the area until further notice.

For further information on monitoring go to Rena Environmental Monitoring >>

For public health advice and advice on shellfish and seafood collection visit www.toiteorapublichealth.govt.nz >>

MountMaunganuiOct2011