Are timber plantations killing oysters in the Georges Bay catchment, Tasmania?

Congratulations to NTN’s Dr Alison Bleaney , Rye Senjen and co-authors for getting this important and independent research done and published. Georges Bay, near St. Helens, in north-east Tasmania, Australia, has been an area of major production for Pacific oysters since the 1970s. From the mid-1990s, however, there has been a continued decline in oyster production through increased oyster mortality, shell deformities and slow growth rates. The purpose of the study was to identify the agent causing aquatic toxicity and to investigate whether there is a chemical and/or toxicological link between river foam and monoculture timber plantation forests of exotic eucalypts (Eucalyptus nitens) present in the catchment area. Foam samples from the George River catchment demonstrated high toxicity to a freshwater cladoceran and larvae of a marine blue mussel species. This study suggests that there may be a chemical and toxicological relationship between foam and E. nitens leaf components.

Alison Bleaney, Christopher W. Hickey, Michael Stewart, Marcus Scammell & Rye Senjen (2014): Preliminary investigations of toxicity in the Georges Bay catchment, Tasmania, Australia, International Journal of Environmental Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00207233.2014.988550
To link to this article:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207233.2014.988550
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