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Archive for the ‘toxic chemicals’ Category

About 1 Million Dead Fish Washed Up on Northland Beaches

Posted by te2ataria on June 9, 2010

Dead Yellowtail, Seals and Stingrays Littered a 30-km Stretch of Northland Beaches

Hundreds of thousands of yellowtail as well as many seals and stingrays were washed up along Glinks Gully and Baylys Beach last weekend, eyewitnesses said.

Dead seals and stingrays were also washed up on Northland beaches, including Glinks Gully and Baylys Beach  Photo  Supplied by NZHerald reader
[Govt may have banned more vivid and descriptive photos.]

The most probable cause could be dumping of toxic chemicals at the sea, the blog Moderators believe.

“There were thousands, at least 30 kilometres up. It’s not on, there’s no other excuse. The smell was horrific.” An eyewitness said.

“It’s too much of a coincidence, really strange. Seals and stingrays are not generally known for throwing themselves on the beach.” Marine expert Dr Kendall Clements said.

“Possibilities are an accident like a net tearing open, a natural event such as algal poisoning or deliberate dumping at sea.” Darren Edwards, field operations manager for the Ministry of Fisheries Northland said.

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Posted in toursit deathtrap, toxic algae, toxic chemicals, Toxic New Zealand, toxic poisoning | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Pollution? What Pollution?

Posted by te2ataria on July 31, 2009

How could our beaches and harbors be polluted, when they’re brimming with anti-fouling chemicals?

If you thought New Zealand Coastal waters are among the dirtiest in the world, brimming with farm runoffs, toxic chemicals, industrial and household waste, raw sewage…, you’d be right!

Harbour a ‘chemical cocktail’

By BLAIRE ENSOR – The Marlborough Express

Last updated 13:00 31/07/2009

A corner of Picton Harbour contains some of the highest levels of anti-fouling chemical pollutants recorded in New Zealand, a council report released today states.

The 2008 Marlborough District Council State of the Environment Report says 3100 square metres of the sea bed in Picton Harbour has some of the highest levels of copper, mercury and tributyltin in the country.

Products used to combat fouling on the hulls of ships are to blame, the report says.

Some of the contamination will be removed when the sea bottom is dredged to make room for foundations in the redevelopment of the Picton waterfront, and the remainder is expected to dissipate naturally.

Marlborough District Council environmental scientist Colin Gray said health risks of the contaminants to humans had not been considered because it was an operational port.

“It’s not an area where the public are going to swim in and collect shellfish.”

cyanobacteria in NZ lakes
State of New Zealand lakes. NZ govt photo.

The problem was identified in a 2003 council survey as part of evaluations of the distribution of antifouling chemicals and sediments in harbours around New Zealand.

The report said the area affected was adjacent to the old Carey’s boatyard site, but the boatyard had been removed so continued fouling was no longer an issue. Monitoring is being carried out to assess how best to clean up the mess.

However, the boatyard’s Ailsa Carey said at a hearing for the Picton foreshore redevelopment plans last month that the Cawthron Institute report, which blamed Carey’s boat yard for the pollution, was unfair.

As well as Carey’s, there had been at least four other boat building and engineering businesses in the immediate area and all would have contributed to the contamination, Ms Carey said.

The boatyard had not always belonged to Carey’s and was even owned by the harbour board for some time, she said.

Marlborough District Council executive projects manager Jamie Lyall told Ms Carey the redevelopment file would be changed to “set the record straight”.

Mr Lyall said a study by the Cawthron Institute showed the contaminant was in the top 150mm of the sea bed. As part of the redevelopment of the Picton waterfront about 12 cubic metres of the contaminants would be removed by dredging, he said.

The dredged material would be tested onsite to check its risk before it could be accepted by the land fill in Blenheim.

Mr Lyall said the contaminated area that remained would continue to be monitored, but studies had shown it was likely to dissipate naturally.

A council spokeswoman said it was necessary to obtain a resource consent to discharge antifouling chemicals, and chemicals used by operators had changed in recent years.

The state of the environment report also showed that cases of illegal dumping in Marlborough have spiked.

Illegal dumping of rubbish increased from 119 instances for the year ended June 2006, to 188 for the year ended June 2008.

Litter infringement notices increased from 60 to 68 over the same period.

Reserves ranger and litter control officer Kevin Hawkins said instances of littering to June 2009 had decreased slightly to 181 with only 40 infringement notices handed down.

He attributed the small decrease to increased frequency of patrols and an increase in the maximum fine from $100 to $400 at the beginning of 2008 which may have deterred people from dumping rubbish.

“If we don’t have a more responsible attitude our reserves will turn into rubbish dumps,” he said.

Mr Hawkins also pointed out a sharp increase in the illegal dumping of garden waste: 101 instances in June 2008 to 315 in June 2009.

“It’s unsightly, people need to dispose of it in a lawful manner.”

Mr Hawkins said council patrols did not just operate during the daylight hours.

“We operate in hours of darkness,” which was a time people like to dispose of rubbish and garden waste.

He appreciated the co-operation from the public reporting offending vehicles.

“The police can’t operate without public support and neither can we. I’m happy to take calls 24/7.”  © 2009 Fairfax New Zealand Limited

A study of New Zealand’s most popular swimming spots has found that a third of them are unsafe because high levels of sewage and dairy effluent at beaches and in rivers are making swimmers sick. Pollution study lifts lid on New Zealand’s ‘green’ beaches

New Zealand industrial farming produces at least 5 times as much effluents than the land can absorb!

New Zealand is the size of Colorado yet it hosts up to 94 million farm animals (livestock excluding poultry), which discharge an estimated 300 million tons of effluent to the environment each year. New Zealand’s intensive animal industries produce about 4 times more manure than they could safely use as fertilizer. [The leftover is discharged or washed off into NZ coastal waters.]

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Posted in farm runoffs, household waste, industrial waste, mercury contamination, raw sewage, toxic chemicals, tributyltin | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

NZ Terminal Toxic Syndrome

Posted by te2ataria on February 21, 2009

New Zealand: Toxic Waters, Poisoned Land

Raw sewage on streets, in rivers and coastal waters; toxic algae in every nook and cranny, soil contaminated with heavy metals, 1080, dioxins … ; flocks of dead birds falling off the sky …

Hundreds of dead sparrows littered New Plymouth yesterday in what looked like a mass poisoning.

“A former top official at New Plymouth’s lvon Watkins Dow chemical factory has confirmed the worst fears of residents – part of the town may be sitting on a secret toxic waste dump containing the deadly Vietnam War defoliant Agent Orange.” An earlier report said.

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Posted in agent orange, dow chemicals, heavy metals poisoning, New Zealand, toxic chemicals | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »