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Do you have a Pacific oyster problem?

28 February 2005

The ARC is calling for expressions of interest from groups wanting to work with the council to remove Pacific oyster shells from beaches.

Pacific oysters are thought to have been accidentally introduced to New Zealand in the 1950s. They have become the most commonly encountered oyster on our shores and have been the dominant farmed oyster species in New Zealand since the late 1970's. In some locations the build up of oysters has affected people walking, swimming, windsurfing and launching boats as the shells cut feet and scrape the bottom of boats.

ARC Environmental Management Chair, Dianne Glenn said it was agreed that $10,000 be used to support community groups, boating clubs or local councils in removing Pacific oysters from areas where they are creating a community concern.

"The first stage of our programme will be to help groups remove oyster shells where they are washed up on beaches. The ARC would support activities such as shell collecting events, or hiring shell-crushing equipment so that the crushed shells can be used on park paths or gardens," says Cr Glenn.

The areas where Pacific oysters are known to be of concern include: Conifer Grove to Weymouth, Awhitu Regional Park, beaches between Titirangi and Onehunga, Point Chevalier and Kaipara Harbour.

The Pacific oyster management activities will be funded from arrears of seabed licence fees.

ENDS

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