Shellfish, swimming and fishing advice for BOP
Monday, 31 October 2011 11:30 a.m.
Off the Bay of Plenty coastline, the ship 'Rena' has grounded on Astrolabe reef and oil from the ship has leaked into the water and has come onto the shore at various locations along the Bay of Plenty coastline. The following provides further clarification of public health advice already given.
Shellfish, crayfish, crabs, kina and seaweed
Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service has advised against the collection of shellfish, crayfish, crabs, kina and seaweed in all affected areas. Toi Te Ora has classified the Bay of Plenty coastline into three 'shellfish zones' to help identify the areas at risk.
The red zone includes Waihi Beach in the west to the entrance to Ohiwa Harbour in the east. Specifically, it also includes Matakana island, Motiti island, Whale island and all inshore islands, rocky outcrops and estuaries in these areas.
Within the red zone people are advised to not gather or eat shellfish, crayfish, crabs, kina or seaweed in these areas until further notice.
The Eastern Bay of Plenty coastline from the Ohiwa Harbour entrance to Cape Runaway, including all inshore islands, rocky outcrops and estuaries in these areas are in the amber shellfish zone.
The amber zone includes areas where there are not yet confirmed reports of oil but there is a high risk of oil contamination being found. In some of these areas oil contaminated debris from the Rena has been found.
The public are advised that shellfish, crayfish, crabs, kina and seaweed in these areas are at significant risk of oil contamination and should not be collected or eaten. Any seafood that has a petrol-like or fuel-like smell should definitely not be eaten.
The green zone includes the east coast of the Coromandel peninsula north from Waihi Beach. Shellfish, crayfish, crabs, kina or seaweed may be taken from these areas but please be cautious. To date, neither oil nor debris from the Rena has been identified on this coast but that could change at any time. If there are any signs of oil contamination on the beach or on rocks, or a petrol-like or fuel-like smell is present, shellfish, crayfish, crabs, kina or seaweed should not be taken or eaten.
People are advised to not go fishing within the current shipping exclusion zone. Outside of this area fish should not be taken from any area that has visible or known oil contamination, or has had recent oil contamination (even if it has been cleaned up), or where there is signage advising against fishing.
Swimming and watersports
People are advised to not swim at any beach that has been closed to recreational activity. In other areas, people should be cautious when swimming and avoid any unnecessary exposure. If you do smell or see oil in the water we suggest you leave the area. Children, especially, should be closely supervised.
With changing wind patterns, currents and ongoing oil spills from the Rena the seabed and shoreline areas affected by oil are likely to change on a daily basis. Please report immediately any observed oil contamination in these areas to 0800 OIL SPILL.
To see a map and more information about the shellfish zones and for the latest public health information for this situation, people are encourage to check the Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service regularly - www.toiteorapublichealth.govt.nz/rena_oil_spill