19 February 2018 10:51 PM
12°  -  19°
Mercury Bay 5 Day Forecast
12° - 19°
14° - 19°
Partly sunny w/ showers
14° - 18°
11° - 18°
Intermittent clouds
11° - 17°
Partly sunny w/ showers
11° - 18°
Mostly cloudy w/ showers
10° - 13°
View full weather report at AccuWeather.com
 |  Whitianga Tides Chart

Beachgoers warned not to touch puffer fish

Coromandel Peninsula | Fri February 09, 2018

11 OF 13. This is the caption text

Dog owners are being warned about taking their pets on Whangamata and Whitianga beaches after a number of dead pufferfish were found washed up today.

"We advise people and pets to keep a safe distance and not touch the fish as they could potentially have a neurotoxin in their skin and intestine and they have sharp spines," says Brian Taylor our Compliance and Licencing Manager.

TCDC's Environmental Health team have found a number of the fish at Whangamata and Whitianga beaches, which they have since removed and taken for testing.

"As it will be several weeks until we get results on whether these pufferfish are poisonous, we are putting out a precautionary message to the public now to play it safe," says Mr Taylor.

"As we have seen these fish wash up at two different beaches, there could also be good reason to suspect they are washing up along the entire east coast of the Coromandel including Tairua, Pauanui, Hahei and Hot Water Beaches," says Mr Taylor.

Last month hundreds of dead birds and 38 puffer fish were found at Mount Maunganui.

Pufferfish facts:

·         The pufferfish toxin is called Tetrodotoxin (TTX)

·         Related to poisonous Japanese fugu puffer fish

·         Their spines are sharp

·         The liver and other parts of the fish are very toxic

·         Do not touch them

·         Do not let your dogs near them.

Sea slugs

There have been media reports of dog deaths anecdotally linked to a species of sea slug on the Thames Coast which can be toxic; however, at this stage there has been no evidence provided to TCDC.

Initial investigations by Council staff have failed to find sea slugs.

Children and pets need to be supervised on beaches and parents need to be aware of where children are swimming or playing and what they are handling.

The sea slugs are a translucent grey colour and are up to 10cm in length. If present, the sea slugs can be found at low tide. The NIWA fact sheet on the sea slugs says a human would need to eat 2.6g of sea slug in order to ingest a lethal dose of the toxin. That's about half a teaspoon of sea slug.

If you spot a sea slug, leave it alone, mark the spot and call TCDC on 07 868 0200 and ask to speak to an Environmental Health Officer to report its location.


Add your comment

Leave Comment
We welcome comments from our readers on any of the features we publish. However, we reserve the right to remove comments that are irrelevant or inappropriate. What it means is this - when you comment, play the ball and not the person. Views expressed in comments do not represent those of The Mercury Bay Informer.


Top 5 Features

Endeavour Print
Regular Features

Read the latest Mercury Bay Informer

Browse previous issues

Business One Limited
Meet our newest residents
The Mercury Bay Informer Guides

Regular Columns & Features

Opinion Poll
""Should HMNZS Manawanui, after her decommissioning, be scuttled in the Mercury Bay area for purposes of becoming a dive attraction?""
0%  (0 of 2 votes)
100%  (2 of 2 votes)
Vote NoVote Yes
View the poll comments.
Please note this is a public interest poll only and is not screened or censored.

Go Kiwi
Mercury Bay Pools Ltd