A clean-up crew of approximately 70 people worked yesterday to clean up oil at Maungatapu and Bridge Marina and shoreline assessments continued. The workers included staff from Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Tauranga City Council, Ministry for Primary Industries fisheries officers, Envirowaste, trained oil responders from Waikato Regional Council and volunteers from local iwi/hapū and the community.
Clean-up crews scooped up oil and oiled debris at all sites and at the end of yesterday (Thursday 30 April) had collected a total of 12 tonnes of oil waste and oil covered vegetation, sand and debris from the Maungatapu and Motuopuhi Island shoreline and Bridge Marina. This work is continuing today.
The waste is being disposed of by Envirowaste at the specialist facility at Hampton Downs in the Waikato.
Some water-borne oil remains well-contained under the port wharf by approximately 70 booms which are can absorb up to 20 litres of oil each. The booms are being replaced with fresh ones today and on-water oil recovery will progress if conditions allow.
Scientists from Regional Council and University of Waikato accompanied by iwi are surveying affected areas of the harbour and taking samples to measure any impacts on shellfish and sea grass. It will be a few weeks before analysis of the first sampling round is completed.
One moderately oiled penguin was found on Wednesday night. It was cleaned and released last night. Mauao Wildlife Trust volunteers are continuing to check penguin roosts on Mauao and Motoriki (Leisure Island) each night.
Effects on birdlife appear to remain minimal. DOC staff have been checking high tide roost sites and other areas around the harbour, a small number of lightly oiled shags, penguins and gulls been observed but have not required capture. Any oiled wildlife found should be reported to DOC 0800 362 468 (0800 DOC HOT).
Boaties are reminded not to clean their boats or gear with any aggressive chemicals as this may cause more contamination. Please contact your marina operator for advice. The Regional Council has provided pads, disposal bags and skips and protective gloves at the marina to help boaties keep their berths clean.
People should stay away from oil wash-up areas. Oil slicks or oiled vessels should be reported to the Regional Council’s Pollution Hotline, phone 0800 884 883, or email email@example.com.
Mobil has set up two 0800 numbers: for boat owners wanting advice – 0800 895 011. For boat owners wanting to make insurance claims to Mobil – 0800 692 524.