Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Beachgoers banned from our house

Anyone who goes to a beach in North Shore City isn’t welcome at our house. We’re not being unfriendly, just cautious.

Two dogs have died after being walked on area beaches, and more than a dozen others became ill but survived. No one knows what’s causing the problem, so that’s why we have to ban anyone who’s been to the beach.

Dead penguins, seagulls and fish have been washing up, but it’s unknown if there’s a link or if it’s mere coincidence. The North Shore City Council has pointed to poisonous algae as a possible cause, but tests are incomplete. Until the results come in, along with the pathology reports on the dogs, it pays to be cautious.

Authorities are advising people to keep their dogs away from beaches. We’re just going one step farther and keeping the beach away from our dog.

Update 05/08/09: With the cause of the deaths and illnesses not yet identified, authorities are now urging people to avoid eastern Auckland and Hauraki Gulf beaches. They also shouldn’t contact seawater or sea life, shouldn’t take children or pets to the beach and shouldn’t gather shellfish in the Hauraki Gulf.

Tests on the first dead dog found no evidence of toxic algae. Some people have suggested 1080 poisoning, but that is slow-acting, which the current poison is not. Also, 1080 poison hasn’t been used on Hauraki Gulf islands since 1996.

The NZ Herald today reported that “five years ago a virus killed large numbers of fish in the Waitemata Harbour, mainly pilchards, and there were similar reports of dead fish in 1998 and 1993.” The investigations continue.

The post above was changed from the original version to include the current number of dogs made sick.


Roger Owen Green said...


"We were lucky enough to get some of his vomit that was still on the beach,"...first time I've seen "lucky" and "vomit" in the same sentence.

Arthur Schenck said...

Yeah, can't remember ever seeing them together, either. Hopefully they'll soon work out what the culprit is.