Public asked to hold fire on pāua rescue

Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is asking the public to refrain from attempting to rescue pāua affected by the Kaikōura earthquake.

“We understand there are calls for people to take part in a rescue mission to save pāua in the newly formed intertidal zone on the Kaikōura coastline,” says Gary Orr, MPI Manager of Compliance Operations.

“We appreciate these efforts are well-intentioned. Unfortunately, they may do more harm than good, as moving the surviving pāua could kill them.

“We’re asking everyone to hold fire on any pāua rescue efforts for now.

“The fact is it’s too late to save the dead shellfish. Those that are still alive are more likely to survive if they are left alone. They will migrate themselves into deeper waters over time.

He says the tidal areas are home to pāua brood stocks and that any further damage could threaten the future of the fishery.

“Many people don’t realise that pāua are haemophiliacs. They need very careful handling. Any cuts they receive from being moved could cause them to bleed to death.”

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