Forecasting contamination risk for shellfish harvest and beach use
19 Aug

Maritime Museum Breakfast Talk: Safer aquaculture and beaches

Our coasts are at the ‘end of the pipe’ for discharge from local rivers and streams, so seawater quality is sometimes compromised by bacteria from land-based activities. This can affect the revenue of shellfish growing areas and close local beaches to public use.

This breakfast talk will explore a forecasting tool developed by project lead Ben Knight and national experts from Cawthron Institute, NIWA & MetOcean Solutions Ltd, which provides a real-time ‘weather map’ prediction of bacteria in the sea. Lincoln Mackenzie, leading another team from Cawthron, will discuss two innovative tests that are simple, cost-effective and sensitive that can be used by public health agencies, the aquaculture industry and communities for early detection of harmful algal blooms (HABs).

Coastal communities benefit from improved detection of HABs and more accurate and timely forecasting of bacterial contamination because they help to ensure that: beaches are not closed when levels are within safe limits; customary and aquaculture harvesting is not unnecessarily restricted; and risks of recall of contaminated products are reduced.

This event is free, but registration is required.

Light breakfast/morning tea provided.

About the speakers

Lincoln Mackenzie is a research scientist focusing on marine ecosystem research, particularly harmful algal blooms, marine biotoxins and environmental effects of aquaculture. He advises New Zealand’s aquaculture industry, public health protection authorities and seafood export regulatory authorities. He leads the Early detection of harmful algal blooms project. 

Ben Knight is a marine biophysical scientist with over 10 years’ research and consulting experience in coastal systems in New Zealand and Europe. His primary area of expertise is the development and application of modelling and remote sensing tools to help manage coastal and marine resources in a sustainable way. Ben loves finding interesting solutions to complex problems, and making them accessible to help people’s understanding of system dynamics and uncertainties. He leads the Forecasting contamination risk for shellfish harvest and beach use project

Previous events

This is the second event in a breakfast talk series in partnership with the NZ Maritime Museum. The first talk explored Aotearoa's blue economy.


The Learning Space, NZ Maritime Museum

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