Whitebaiters in action:
Health authorities are urging Christchurch whitebaiters to avoid eating fish caught in the city’s rivers as they are “still open sewers” after the earthquakes.
Canterbury medical officer of health Alistair Humphrey said whitebaiters should not fish in the Avon and Heathcote rivers this season because of the ongoing risk of infection from high levels of E.coli (faecal bacteria).
Humphrey said cooking the whitebait would not remove the risk and thawing out frozen whitebait could also cause infection by contaminating chopping boards and utensils.
Christchurch’s rivers were a “great source of pleasure” for many Cantabrians and had long been used for sport and recreation and as a source of food, but they were “far from clean”, Humphrey added.
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