8 Aug 2009

Harbour sports cancelled as water tests awaited

2:16 pm on 8 August 2009

An Auckland dragon boat training session involving about 90 people has been cancelled as organisations await test results to discover what is behind the mysterious death of dogs and sea life in the sea at the city's eastern beaches.

Auckland Dragon Boat Association secretary Alisha Zanetich says after receiving advice from the Auckland District Health Board, it chose to cancel Saturday's training event to avoid putting participants at risk.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service has told people not to swim or eat seafood from east coast and Hauraki Gulf beaches - and it says children should not go to the beach at all.

It says it has been passing the message on to sports and recreation groups ringing to ask about the warning before the weekend.

Not all water-based activities have been disrupted, however. A spokesperson for Ferg's Kayaks, which operates near Mission Bay, says the Auckland City Council on Saturday advised the kayak hire business it couild begin operating again.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Auckland Regional Council and specialist marine research company The Cawthron Institute say their tests results will be ready next week.

It is believed toxic algae is to blame, but MAF's initial tests were negative.