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Your thoughts on sea lettuce

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Bay of Plenty residents are being warned to expect beaches to turn green over the coming months, with a severe lettuce season predicted.

With a strong El Nino weather pattern predicted this summer, Tauranga City and Bay of Plenty Regional Councils are bracing themselves for a busy sea lettuce season around Tauranga Harbour.

Click the image above to watch the video

Bay of Plenty Regional Council coastal scientist Rob Win taking a close look at sea lettuce.

Sea lettuce is a naturally occurring algae that’s native to New Zealand. Its growth is mainly influenced by coastal currents, water temperature and nutrient levels. 

Regional Council Tauranga Harbour Projects Manager, Bruce Gardner, says trends show that the largest blooms of sea lettuce occur during periods of drier weather and persistent offshore winds associated with El Nino weather patterns.

“It becomes a nuisance for people when it smells or gets in the way of boating and swimming,” explains Bruce.

“So the councils work together, to make sure public calls are responded to and popular foreshore areas are regularly checked.

“Our aim is to locate and collect any large piles of beach-cast sea lettuce before they get too anaerobic and smelly.

“We’re putting pick-up and disposal contracts in place for the season now, so we’ll be ready to go as and when problem piles are identified.”

SunLive asked members of the public what they thought about the situation and what could be done with the sea lettuce.

Watch the video above to see what they had to say.

Comments on SunLive

@Mr Murray....

Posted on 07-12-2015 14:48 | By tonyb

and NZ Fish&Game say the same about the black swan, and look how thats turned out!!!!, there was certainly not the dead sea grass on our shores 2x decades ago either, gardeners should make the most of that as well, the "heinous" swans have kindly ripped it all up for us to enjoy.

Posted on 30-11-2015 14:05 | By flashmedallion

In my day everyone just had iceberg lettuce. The council needs to act to ban sea lettuce from coming to Tauranga and act quickly. When are we going to get real about immigration. It’s much easier to stop it at the border than leting it come here and growing families of more lettuces.

Posted on 30-11-2015 09:38 | By CC8

Just do it under the cover of darkness!! You may be prosecuted for taking it a without a resource consent!!!

Posted on 29-11-2015 12:06 | By Ratepayer

Grows great tomatoes and it is free. Dig a trench, overfill it with lettuce, stomp it, hose it down, 100mm topsoil, and plant up. Go get some!

Posted on 29-11-2015 11:30 | By SeeSee

Could this be construed as a clean green Tauranga harbour ?
never a problem then

Posted on 28-11-2015 21:46 | By Active

I fished most summer weekends all over the inner harbour during the late 1960s and into the early 1970s anchoring all night in places like the western channel , Off Omokoroa, and all the main deep channels and never ever had lettuce around the anchor chain even if i was there for 12hours or more.However started to see it early 1980s at the same time as the fert was being used big time on horticulture. I saw a big hydroponic lettuce growing operation in Australia one time, Hmmmmm.
Sea lettuce is a naturally occurring algae

Posted on 28-11-2015 20:01 | By How about this view!

So why should ratepayers fund the removal from around the properties of the well-healed? If there is a profit to be made from the organic fertiliser market, why not sell permits for the collection of this community resource?? Oh wait, it will still cost us money, as our Council find great difficulty in retaining rather than spending our rates monies.
Council should keep Mount Beaches clean.

Posted on 28-11-2015 17:10 | By jed

People come to this area for the beaches -- council lets the sea lettuce rot. I don’t get why they don’t have a full time cleanup crew on call.
Native to NZ?

Posted on 28-11-2015 17:01 | By Murray.Guy

Native to NZ, since when?
beleive it or not

Posted on 28-11-2015 15:42 | By CC8

There are people who WANT to harvest the sea lettuce...BUT they up against political commercial interests who blockade the project and require resource consents , which would cost an arm and a leg and make the project(s) unviable... One project which would also remove(harvest) the weed from the Rotorua lakes , has been hijacked by those same interests which initially denied viability and created unnecessary blockades.
Are They Blind

Posted on 28-11-2015 15:24 | By Capt_Kaveman

just take a look at high tide you can see it just floating around which is the best time to scope it up, funded by the port of Tauranga considering prob 50% of the problem is caused by them
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