Clean-up operations continued at six key sites yesterday (Pilot Bay/Mauao base, Port wharf, Bridge Marina, Panepane Point at Matakana, Motuopuhi and Maungatapu). We’re making good progress but have returned to all sites today, with the focus now on detailed work such as cleaning between rocks. The Bridge Marina haul out area cleaning was completed yesterday and the travel lift has now been cleared for use.
An isolated clump of oiled vegetation was collected from Mataphi yesterday, following a report to our Pollution Hotline. The wider area was checked with no further oil found. Public reports are valuable to the response and we’re continuing to encourage members of the public to call 0800 884 883 if they see signs of oil.
We expect oiled vegetation (mainly sea grass) and debris to continue to be washed up with each high tide. Shoreline clean-ups and surveys are ongoing and plans are underway for clean-up of sub-tidal oiled sea grass at some sites. Another helicopter survey is scheduled for today.
One lightly oiled penguin was captured on Sunday night for a vet check. It was cleared and released last night. Two lightly oiled shags were seen at Sulphur Point but they did not require capture for treatment. If anyone sees oiled wildlife, including any dead fish, they should report it to Department of Conservation, phone 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. Boat owners should contact their marina operator or the Mobil advice hotline on 0800 895 011 for cleaning advice. The Regional Council has provided pads, disposal bags and skips and protective gloves at Bridge Marina to help boaties keep their berths clean.
Regional Council is currently leading an investigation that will consider all evidence. Only once the investigation is completed will the Bay of Plenty Regional Council begin its enforcement decision process to determine whether any enforcement action is appropriate and at what level.
A three day Maritime New Zealand oil spill training exercise (that was scheduled before the 27 April spill) starts today. The 20 Maritime NZ staff involved are hoping to take the opportunity to visit current oil spill clean-up areas to learn from our recent response.
Mobil has said it will reimburse the Regional Council for clean-up costs and has set up a process to consider claims of direct damage from the spill. The Mobil hotline for insurance claim enquiries is 0800 692 524.