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Chatham Islands Incident

Marine oil spill specialists and conservation experts have been mobilised and are responding to the recent sinking of the fishing vessel Sea Fresh One on the eastern side of the Chatham Islands the Ministers of Transport and Conservation confirmed today.

"This is a very serious incident. The Maritime Safety Authority have declared it a Tier Three Response which means the authority has taken direct control of the situation," the Minister of Transport Mark Gosche said today.

"The situation is being closely monitored," he said.

Conservation Minister Sandra Lee said it was always a concern when potential oil spill incidents occurred near vulnerable areas.

"The Department of Conservation is monitoring this situation very closely and has an emergency response team ready if needed, to protect the Chatham Islands Oyster Catcher (bird) and other species that might be affected if oil reached the coast," said Ms Lee.

"DOC is also working closely with the MSA," she added.

ENDS

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