Mysterious Mass Shellfish Death Near Whangarei, NZ

A horrible stench set off an investigation into a mysterious mass shellfish death at Ngunguru Sandspit in Northland. Aaron Franklin, who was visiting his parents in the area, alerted authorities to the deaths on Thursday May 21. The engineer estimates there were well over a million dead cockles, tuatua and pipi on the seaward beach and near the mouth of the estuary, with more on the seabed. Franklin returned to the area the next day where representatives from Northland Regional Council were gathering samples. He says the area “reeked of rotting shellfish”.

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