Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Christchurch rivers still a ‘no go’ for whitebaiters

MEDIA RELEASE

August 14, 2013

Christchurch rivers still a ‘no go’ for whitebaiters 

Christchurch whitebaiters are being warned against fishing in or around the Avon/ Otakaro River, Heathcote/ Opawaho River or Avon-Heathcote/ Otakaro-Opawaho Estuary/Ihutai this season.

With the whitebait season beginning tomorrow (August 15), Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey says eating whitebait caught in Christchurch’s waterways is dangerous. 

“Before the earthquake, Christchurch’s waterways were contaminated with duck and dog faeces and as a result rarely met recreational water standards,” Dr Humphrey says.

“Despite this, some people liked to collect whitebait from the Avon and Heathcote but because of ongoing repairs to wastewater infrastructure, there is still the additional risk of human faecal contamination.” 

Dr Humphrey says raw sewage discharges do occur into the rivers on occasions when contractors carry out essential repairs to sewers.

“Therefore E.coli (faecal bacteria) levels increase during this time.”

A 2013 report by ESR on the Avon River water, sediment and estuarine sediment also highlights on-going water quality issues, he says.

“Water quality has improved since the active discharge period but generally does not meet the recreational water guidelines,” Dr Humphrey says.

“The silt in the river still contains E. coli and at one site the concentration found was 15 times more contaminated than during the active discharges. 

“Giardia, Campylobacter and Cryptosporidium levels in the sediment have decreased since the previous study but are still present in varying levels. Giardia can cause explosive bloody diarrhoea for months.”

Giardia eggs can live for months or years in silt and can be released into the water when the silt is stirred up. It can also survive freezing, so when a block of whitebait is thawed out at home, many parts of the kitchen can be contaminated, even if the whitebait is cooked.

“People who choose to take whitebait from the Avon or Heathcote not only put themselves and others at risk but also spoil the season for other whitebaiters and consumers, as it makes us question whether any whitebait is safe to eat. I hope those people who like to whitebait can find a stand on a clean river,” Dr Humphrey says.

“All river users are also reminded that they should always avoid contact recreation for 48 hours after heavy rainfall, as this can result in sewerage and stormwater overflows into the rivers, which further reduce the quality of the waterways.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Debut, Mockingjay, And Drunk Texting

John Key’s credibility has taken a hammering this week – at least among the 50% of the electorate who have always had doubts about him on that score.

The other substantial story of the week has been about Andrew Little’s debut as Labour leader, which has received top marks, especially among the 25% of the electorate still voting Labour. According to some reports, the Labour caucus has been ‘in seventh heaven’ about Little’s success this week in taking it to the government in the House. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel. More>>

ALSO:

Glenn Inquiry: Report Offers Solutions To Family Violence

The People’s Blueprint unveiled today by Sir Owen Glenn’s independent inquiry into child abuse and domestic violence outlines a new, more cohesive and effective system for reducing New Zealand’s alarmingly high family violence rates. More>>

ALSO:

Environment Commissioner: Changing Climate And Rising Seas - Understanding The Science

A rising sea will be with us for a long time to come – one way or another we will have to adapt. But how high and how fast the water rises will be influenced by the speed at which the world – including New Zealand – reduces greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. More>>

ALSO:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news