scoop.co.nz 17 Mar, 2021 05:00 am

Independent Reports Recommend Considerations Following Kaikorai Fish Deaths

Independent Reports Recommend Considerations Following Kaikorai Fish Deaths
The Otago Regional Council (ORC) has received two independent reports into fish deaths in the lower Kaikorai Lagoon, which followed the mechanical opening of the coastal mouth by ORC contractors as a flood mitigation. ORC commissioned the two ...

Scoop i Regional Independent Reports Recommend Considerations Following Kaikorai Fish Deaths The Otago Regional Council (ORC) has received two independent reports into fish deaths in the lower Kaikorai Lagoon, which followed the mechanical opening of the coastal mouth by ORC contractors as a flood mitigation.ORC commissioned the two reports because of its dual role as operator and regulator, in order to keep those powers separate: one on the cause of the fish deaths for the engineering team by Ryder Environmental, and one by Wynn Williams reviewing the compliance investigation.The review by Ryder Environmental found that this timing suggested the opening may have played a role in the fish deaths, but there was no strong evidence to support a cause and effect relationship.“While it is impossible to establish a concrete scientific link between opening the coastal mouth and the fish deaths in the Kaikorai, it is always a concern when a significant fish kill occurs, hence our commitment to determining whether our works may or may not have contributed.

“The findings of the Wynn Williams review largely align with the assessment by compliance staff, that the opening of the coastal mouth was a permitted activity and that the opening of the coastal mouth was a likely contributing factor to the fish deaths.“The review notes that ORC’s investigation into the fish deaths was ‘thorough, timely and sound’, and backs up the conclusions of that investigation,” Mrs Gardner said.

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