Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Reducing the impact on shellfish of vehicles on beaches

UC research looking at how to reduce impact on shellfish of vehicles on beaches

November 2, 2012



Gareth Taylor - vehicles on the beach

As the summer approaches, more people will be driving their cars on sandy beaches for a range of activities.

While most leisure activities will have no impact on the environment, others could. A University of Canterbury (UC) researcher Gareth Taylor is looking at how beaches can be managed to reduce the impact on shellfish.

The intertidal zone, where most people drive their cars on a beach, contains a wide range of shellfish including juvenile tuatua. In addition to being a food source, tuatua naturally filter the water reducing turbidity. This helps to keep water clear and clean for us to enjoy when visiting the beach.

``While adult tuatua are in the subtidal area, juvenile tuatua sit in the top five to 10 cm of sediment about 30 metres below the high tide line. This is also where vehicles frequently are used,’’ UC doctoral student Taylor said today.

``Findings from my research show one vehicle can cause around five percent mortality to tuatua within the tyre tracks, and up to 35 percent after 50 passes. This may not sound like much, but has the potential to add up over time.

``As a vehicle driver on the beach, what can people do to stop this damage occurring? The easiest way is to not drive on the beach; however, if a vehicle is required there are other ways to mitigate impacts."

``Driving within the same tracks made by other vehicles will significantly reduce tuatua mortality caused by vehicles. The initial vehicle will cause about five percent mortality, but if motorists drive through the same tracks this will increase by just 0.27 percent. This is in stark contrast to causing five percent mortality when creating new tracks.’’

The configuration of a vehicle also influences mortality to shellfish, he said. This is because sediment displacement correlates to mortality. A heavy four wheel drive vehicle will penetrate deeper into the sediment than a light vehicle. Tyres designed to grab into the terrain such as off-road tyres also displace more sediment, so more mortality may occur.

Lighter vehicles with wide tyres designed to roll on top of the sediment would significantly reduce the impact on tuatua populations. A lighter car would reduce sediment displacement and the overall mortality to tuatua below the sediment surface.

``Beaches are an amenity for all to enjoy, but like any other ecosystem it is sensitive to human impacts. If treated with respect, this important ecosystem will be there for future generations to enjoy.’’

Taylor will present his research at the New Zealand Coastal Society conference at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland from November 14 to 16.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Houses (& Tobacco) Lead Inflation: CPI Up 0.3% In March Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. More>>

ALSO:

Notoriously Reliable Predictions: Budget To Show Rise In Full-Time Income To 2018: English

This year’s Budget will forecast wage increases through to 2018 amounting to a $10,500 a year increase in average full time earnings over six years to $62,200 a year, says Finance Minister Bill English in a speech urging voters not to “put all of this at risk” by changing the government. More>>

ALSO:

Prices Up, Volume Down: March NZ House Sales Drop 10% As Loan Curbs Bite

New Zealand house sales dropped 10 percent in March from a year earlier as the Reserve Bank’s restrictions on low-equity mortgages continue to weigh on sales of cheaper property. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Chorus To Appeal Copper Pricing Judgment

Chorus will appeal a High Court ruling upholding the Commerce Commission’s determination setting the regulated prices on the telecommunications network operator’s copper lines. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Cars: Precautionary Recalls Announced For Toyota Vehicles

Toyota advises that a number of its New Zealand vehicles are affected by a series of precautionary global recalls. Toyota New Zealand General Manager Customer Services Spencer Morris stressed that the recalls are precautionary. More>>

ALSO:

'Gardening Club': Air Freight Cartel Nets Almost $12 Million In Penalties

The High Court in Auckland has today ordered Swiss company Kuehne + Nagel International AG to pay a penalty of $3.1 million plus costs for breaches of the Commerce Act. Kuehne + Nagel’s penalty brings the total penalties ordered in this case to $11.95 million ... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: Revenue Below Projections

Core Crown tax revenue has increased by $1.9 billion (or 5.0%) compared to the same time last year. However this was $1.1 billion less than expected and is reflected across most tax types, continuing the pattern of recent months. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news