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

 

Toxic algal blooms on the rise

Toxic algal blooms on the rise as countdown to new freshwater rules begins - Greenpeace


Dangerous toxic algal blooms in rivers are on the rise. The question is - will the Government’s new freshwater regulations, due mid-year, deal with the threat?

And do they recognise the link between these green nasties and chemical fertiliser?

Canterbury’s Medical Officer of Health is warning toxic algal blooms are on the up in South Canterbury. Several health warnings have been issued in the region asking people and their pets to stay away from several popular swimming spots. (1)

Greenpeace says toxic algal blooms will become more frequent if the Government doesn’t give new freshwater rules real teeth.

"It’s no coincidence that toxic algal blooms are on the rise in Canterbury. This is the region with the highest rate of chemical fertiliser use and highest cow stocking rates in the whole country," says Greenpeace campaigner Gen Toop.

Chemical fertiliser and high stocking rates on intensive dairy farms are associated with increased nitrogen pollution leaching into waterways where it helps to drive algal blooms.

Toxic algal blooms can cause skin rashes, nausea and stomach cramps as well as kill dogs and other animals.

"It is very distressing that our lakes and rivers, once places that we all enjoyed, are now places that could make us sick," says Toop.

"This isn’t the New Zealand we know and love. Things have to change."

The Prime Minister made cleaning up rivers one of her key policy platforms in the last election.

During a speech in 2017 she told us: "The main problem is now ever increasing intensive livestock farming, more cows per hectare, more fertiliser and irrigation, all cause more livestock effluent and nutrient pollution to run off into our rivers".

Toop says, "Chemical fertiliser not only leaches directly into our waterways it also encourages overstocking of cows, which we all know, causes more polluted rivers."

There are currently no nationwide rules that limit the amount of chemical fertiliser which can be used. But, the Government is considering including a cap on the amount of chemical fertiliser that can be used in the new freshwater reforms.

"Capping chemical fertiliser is the first step to phasing out the polluting substance altogether and restoring the health of our lakes and rivers."


https://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/118861316/toxic-algal-blooms-will-be-ongoing-says-medical-officer-of-health

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Reserve Bank: RBNZ To Implement $30bn Large Scale Asset Purchase Programme Of NZ Govt Bonds

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to implement a Large Scale Asset Purchase programme (LSAP) of New Zealand government bonds. The negative economic implications of the coronavirus outbreak have continued to intensify. The Committee ... More>>

ALSO:

Elevate NZ: Venture Fund To Lift Productivity

The Government’s new $300 million venture capital fund - announced in last year’s Budget – is now open for business as the Elevate NZ Venture Fund. Finance Minister Grant Robertson says lifting New Zealand's productivity requires well-functioning ... More>>

ALSO:


COVID-19: Case Confirmed In NZ – Expert Reaction

After spreading across the globe for months, the first case of COVID-19 has been reported in New Zealand. The Ministry of Health says the risk of a community outbreak is low, due to their preparedness and the high awareness of the disease. The Science ... More>>

ALSO:

Agriculture: New Legislation To Boost Organics

New organics legislation will boost consumer confidence and help grow an innovative sector, says Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Organics Product Bill, introduced to Parliament this week, aims to increase consumer confidence when purchasing ... More>>

ALSO:

Biodiversity Policy: Misinformation Circulating

Forest & Bird is concerned at misinformation circulating regarding a policy statement aimed at protecting New Zealand’s unique biodiversity. The National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity is being consulted on by the ... More>>

ALSO: