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

 

Mussels in place to start testing

Mussels in place to start testing

Hundreds of juvenile green-lipped mussels attached to various structures within and outside Gisborne harbour have begun an important role in monitoring the quality of water in the bay.

Mussels were chosen to help assess water quality because they are filter feeders and any traces of contamination will show in their gut. Samples will be tested for trace chemicals and the presence of human faecal indicators, bacteria and viruses specific to the human gut. More general indicators of environmental contamination from animals and other sources are expected to be identified.

Several mussel lines, each two metres long with hundreds of mussels on each, have been placed in the harbour and bay since late June and more lines may be placed in the bay over the next six months.

Gisborne District Council’s Wastewater Technical Advisory Group has contracted Bill and Ian Ruru of Maumahara Education to undertake a short-term pilot study and develop a monitoring programme that includes using kaimoana as natural biological indicators of health. This will form part of the ongoing monitoring of the Gisborne Wastewater Treatment Plant, required under its resource consent.

Mussels (kutai), tuatua, tuangi (cockles) and pipi will be sampled from between The Cut at the harbour entrance to the Wherowhero Lagoon.

Ian Ruru said the mussel lines were brought in from the west coast of the North Island.

“We made sure to obtain the cleanest mussels available from a farm on the West Coast. This will provide a fair comparison with local kaimoana tested before the treatment plant was commissioned in January.”

John Mackay of Gisborne business dnature diagnostics & research Ltd will test for human and animal DNA. Although ESR had tested mussels and other shellfish for some time, he believed this was the first time that so-called sentinels had been placed to monitor wastewater in New Zealand. The method had been described overseas.

Technical Advisory Group chairman Bevan Turnpenny said mussels were ideal because they could be secured in one place and were easy to collect.

“This ensures consistency over time which can’t be obtained from spatially variable benthic species such as tuatua. We are also looking to this pilot study to help us improve the measurement of water quality indicators without any increase in cost.”

Medical Officer of Health Dr Bruce Duncan said the development was exciting for various reasons.

“Firstly, we are using a part of the biological life of the bay to monitor wastewater treatment effectiveness. While it’s not the first time mussels have been used, their use (as a monitor) links the impact of human waste and the effectiveness of its treatment directly to any impact on kaimoana. The applications are much wider, though, with the possibility that we can use the shellfish to monitor the state of all contamination in the bay including that from surface and stormwater runoff into rivers.

“Linking with DNA testing increases the sophistication of testing. We can now identify the source of contamination much more accurately, for example, whether is it animal or human. There are further exciting opportunities with this work. Shellfish may have an important role to play in improving water quality, indeed, they may have a specific place in wastewater treatment.

“I think this work also reflects the innovative local approach to wastewater management – the whole community including tangata whenua, industry and Council working collaboratively to a common goal of improving the environment we live and play in.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The America’s Cup, Critical Race Theory And A New, Weekly Music Playlist

So… Why don’t they just cut to the chase, and call it the Emirates Cup? As this column predicted several months ago, the next America’s Cup challenge is headed overseas. Here’s what Werewolf said back in March:
Emirates has made a major commitment to Portsmouth/Isle of Wight as a sailing centre of excellence – and voila, that’s where the next challenger of record is coming from, and where the next Cup contest could well be sailed. Such incredible luck for Emirates, right..? More>>

 

NZ First Returns: Winston Peters - AGM Address

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to be in Auckland for the 28th New Zealand First Party Conference. It is our intention and mission to remain the most successful political party outside of National and Labour in the last three decades... More>>



Marine: Wider Roll-out Of Cameras On Boats To Support Sustainability And Protect Marine Life

Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations... More>>

ALSO:


Jewish Council: New Zealand Not Immune From Rise In Antisemitism

The representative body of New Zealand Jewry, the NZ Jewish Council (NZJC), has expressed concern about the high number of antisemitic incidents in New Zealand recorded last month. Spokesperson for the NZJC, Juliet Moses, said... More>>

NZNO: Nurses Reject DHB Offer And Confirm Strike Action

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says its 30,000 members who work in DHBs have voted overwhelmingly to reject a second offer in their current round of multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) negotiations... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels