What impacts on fish from pollution of our waterways?

LETTER

I would like to ask Gisborne District Council for an opinion on whether fish caught in the city’s three rivers pose risks if eaten, because of discharges at times of raw sewage.

Many locals fish in these rivers, and some species such as flounder that forage along the bottom may be more susceptable to eating contaminated sewage matter.

I am on the board of the NZ Recreational Fishing Council, which has a government-legislated duty to represent all recreational fishers.

The commercial fishing industry, local iwi and the NZ Recreational Fishing Council together, in partnership, submitted against the logging yard runoff that was allegedly affecting peurelus (baby crayfish) under the wharves at Gisborne’s port. Bill Ruru and Ian Ruru have done so much work on this hatchery of young crayfish here and beyond.

So does the logging yard runoff, that may contain chemicals, affect the sustainability of fish and crayfish? We understand Eastland Port has reduced the standards for the acceptable level of runoff.

I would like to also state concern that many crayfish are traditionally harvested in the bay, particularly the town/Kaiti Beach area, by commercial for export to Asia and for local consumption by recreational and customary Maori — and not far from the sewer outfall in the bay, which could threaten export credibility and local residents’ health fishing around town.

We have a new man leading the Ministry for Primary Industries compliance here in Mike Simmons. He has a good name and perhaps he can provide help with GDC opinions.

Alain Jorion

Footnote from GDC management:

Gisborne District Council advise the public whenever the wastewater scours are opened and wastewater is released into our rivers. We advise the public not to collect fish or shell fish for five days after the scours have been opened, in order to allow the rivers to return to safe levels.

• Eastland Port response at right.

I would like to ask Gisborne District Council for an opinion on whether fish caught in the city’s three rivers pose risks if eaten, because of discharges at times of raw sewage.

Many locals fish in these rivers, and some species such as flounder that forage along the bottom may be more susceptable to eating contaminated sewage matter.

I am on the board of the NZ Recreational Fishing Council, which has a government-legislated duty to represent all recreational fishers.

The commercial fishing industry, local iwi and the NZ Recreational Fishing Council together, in partnership, submitted against the logging yard runoff that was allegedly affecting peurelus (baby crayfish) under the wharves at Gisborne’s port. Bill Ruru and Ian Ruru have done so much work on this hatchery of young crayfish here and beyond.

So does the logging yard runoff, that may contain chemicals, affect the sustainability of fish and crayfish? We understand Eastland Port has reduced the standards for the acceptable level of runoff.

I would like to also state concern that many crayfish are traditionally harvested in the bay, particularly the town/Kaiti Beach area, by commercial for export to Asia and for local consumption by recreational and customary Maori — and not far from the sewer outfall in the bay, which could threaten export credibility and local residents’ health fishing around town.

We have a new man leading the Ministry for Primary Industries compliance here in Mike Simmons. He has a good name and perhaps he can provide help with GDC opinions.

Alain Jorion

Footnote from GDC management:

Gisborne District Council advise the public whenever the wastewater scours are opened and wastewater is released into our rivers. We advise the public not to collect fish or shell fish for five days after the scours have been opened, in order to allow the rivers to return to safe levels.

• Eastland Port response at right.

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Ex Pat - 6 days ago
Wow, there's a sidestep if ever I saw one.