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HBRC investigating dead marine life washed up in Napier

Dead marine life photo

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is investigating the large numbers of dead marine life washed up in Napier yesterday.

The Regional Council’s Science Manager Anna Madarasz-Smith says the science team has observed crayfish, kina, star fish and sea cucumbers and have collected samples for analysis.

“This event is heart-breaking, and shocking for our community, and indicates the marine ecosystem is struggling.”

At this stage the situation is unexplained and isolated in nature.

“We have had heavy rain and warm seas, and this may have contributed to this event. Our team are out on the water today taking samples. We need to undertake scientific analysis to determine the cause, and it may be some days before we have any answers.”

The Regional Council is taking the lead on this situation as this is possibly a wider environmental issue – with support from Mana Ahuriri, Te Whatu Ora, Ministry for Primary Industries, National Aquarium of New Zealand, Department of Conservation, and the Port of Napier.

Yesterday the Regional Council’s marine science team investigated the dead sea life and took samples, however by the time they arrived about 1.30pm, most of the dead animals had been removed by people in the area.

“We do urge people to not gather or consume the dead sea life,” says Ms Madarasz-Smith.

The Regional Council’s pollution response team is investigating for any spills in the known high-risk areas in the vicinity.


3 February 2023

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