Mystery balls wash up on beach
Thousands of small black plastic balls washed up on beaches from One Tree point to Waipu during the wild weather of January 4.
It may have been a container spillage of some kind as there were thousands of the little balls lining the coastline before being washed away again.
The balls are synthetic, not solid and may be used in flotation of some kind.
Similar balls called ‘shade balls’ are used in still water lakes in California to help stop evaporation but they are generally solid.
Whatever they are, NIWA don’t use them and enquiries are going through the Department of Conservation.
One explanation is they are balls used to help with filtration of commercial fish tanks but they represent an awful lot of fish tanks and though they may look harmless, ultimately they probably won’t be good for our marine life in the long run.
The Northland Regional Council environmental hotline was unable to shed any light but they were checking cargo lists of container ships to see if anything had been lost overboard.
Think you have the answer? Let us know. Email email@example.com.