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Public Health Advisory – Oreti Beach and the New River Estuary, Invercargill

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The Medical Officer of Health Dr Susan Jack this afternoon issued a public health advisory, warning members of the public against swimming, fishing or gathering seafood at Oreti Beach and the New River Estuary, near Invercargill.

Dr Jack issued the advisory, following the discovery of a mass death of burrowing sea cucumbers and shellfish on the beach, which is believed to have been caused by the large amount of fresh water draining into the estuary area after the Southland floods last week.

Public Health officials are working with Emergency Management and Environment Southland staff to alert the public and keep them safe in the wake of today’s discovery.

Dr Jack said that members of the public were strongly advised not to go swimming, fishing, or collect or consume fish, or shellfish, at Oreti Beach or the New River Estuary.

If anyone was concerned about their health, or the health of a family member, they should ring HealthLine on 0800 611 116, or contact their doctor immediately, she said.