Press Release – Carlin Valenti
The rahui or traditional ban on taking seafood in areas that may have been contaminated by oil from the stricken Rena has now been lifted. Improving water quality and advancement of the salvage effort on the Rena has led the Tauranga Moana Iwi Customary Fisheries …December 20, 2011
Rahui Lifted Over Tauranga Waters
The rahui or traditional ban on taking seafood in areas that may have been contaminated by oil from the stricken Rena has now been lifted.
Improving water quality and advancement of the salvage effort on the Rena has led the Tauranga Moana Iwi Customary Fisheries Trust to lift the rahui.
Trust chairman Penetaka Dickson said the threat imposed by the Rena is becoming more manageable and clean up efforts of the coastline have been successful to date, therefore, it was appropriate to lift the Rahui.
“The community clean up has been magnificent on a number of levels and iwi would like to express admiration for the hard work and dedication by so many people. It would have been a lot worse without that collective community effort,” he said.
Mr Dickson said while the rahui is no longer in place, people should exercise good judgement if they are catching fish or collecting shellfish.
“The advice we have been given is people should engage their senses and smell any seafood they collect and taste a little before deciding whether the kaimoana is safe to eat.
“If there is any hint of a hydrocarbon smell then they should not eat it at all. It just isn’t worth the risk to anyone’s health.”
Mr Dickson said iwi have appreciated how the rahui has been respected by all sectors of the community.
“A rahui has no legal authority however it is something that is used to signal to a community that a problem exists and care should be taken. We are respecting our community by placing the ban, and they in turn have shown respect for our custom,” he said.
“We understand how difficult it has been for some people not to fish in the areas where they like to fish, but there has been a health imperative and we are seeking to keep all members of our community healthy and able to enjoy the fishing when it is safe to do so.