New Zealand oil spill: conservationists warn of wildlife ‘tragedy’
Oil spill off the east coast of New Zealand threatens local penguins, whales, seals and seabirds
Oliver Milman
guardian.co.uk, Monday 10 October 2011 07.41 EDT

Conservationists have warned of an impending wildlife “tragedy” caused by an oil spill off the east coast of New Zealand, with populations of penguins, whales, seals and seabirds set to be hardest hit.

A severe weather warning for the Bay of Plenty area on Monday/yesterday has heightened fears that the stricken cargo vessel Rena, which is carrying 1,700 tonnes of fuel oil and 200 tonnes of diesel, will start to break up, with grim consequences for the local marine wildlife.

The fallout from the incident, which saw Rena run aground on a reef last Wednesday, is already being felt, with seven little blue penguins and two cormorants recovered and treated today at a centre in Tauranga.

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