One of the world's most complex shipwrecks: MV Rena – ecotoxicity, environmental recovery and mauri Event as iCalendar

(Science Event Tags, Biodiversity and Biosecurity, Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Coastal and Marine Science, Environment, Marine Science, Seminars)

06 March 2017

1 - 2pm

Venue: Mac 1, Biology Building

Location: 5 Symonds Street, City Campus

Host: School of Biological Sciences

Cost: Free - all welcome

Contact info: Associate Professor Mike Taylor

Contact email: mw.taylor@auckland.ac.nz

One of the world's most complex shipwrecks: MV Rena – ecotoxicity, environmental recovery and mauri

Professor Chris Battershill, Environmental Research Institute and the Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Waikato

On 5 October 2011, the container vessel MV Rena ran aground on Astrolabe Reef (also known as Otaiti), Bay of Plenty, at 2.20am. The ship was carrying 1368 containers, including 32 classified as being ‘dangerous goods’, and 1733 tonnes of heavy fuel oil. The public immediately asked: what is the likely environmental impact, and how long to recovery?

The ship salvage operation is now the second most expensive in history. The scientific response was to a complex pollution event: mixtures of contaminants; close proximity to a ‘pristine’ coast; deep exposed oceanic conditions; interacting elements of ecological, commercial and cultural concern.

Professor Chris Battershill of the Environmental Research Institute and the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Waikato will describe the impact of the Rena pollution on the coastal environment. In particular, he will refer to in situ research that was needed in response to a dearth of information on the likely toxicity of oil and inorganic contaminants.

Professor Battershill will also discuss the Rena Legacy in terms of advances to the ecological understanding of major marine pollution events, the social context and importantly, the mauri of the Moana a Toi.