Southland mystery object likely from fishing industry

Southland mystery object likely from fishing industry

The mystery of the long pipe has not been solved.

The mystery of the long pipe has not been solved.

A mystery object that washed up on a Southland beach continues to baffle officials.

Environment Southland is trying to identify a 100-metre long object that washed up with an incoming tide on Te Waewae beach, west of Invercargill, this week.

Deputy harbourmaster Ian Coard has appealed to the public for help with figuring out where the object came from and to who it belongs.

The object is made of a plastic-like substance.

The object is made of a plastic-like substance.

Do you know what the object is? Email

New mystery object washes up on Southland beach ‘won’t budge’​
Barnacles on mystery beach object

The object is man-made – long, black, made of some kind of plastic and with metal loops on either end.

The mystery object near Tuatapere.

The mystery object near Tuatapere.

Environment Southland is keen to identify the object and its owner so it can be claimed and removed.

On Friday, Coard said the huge object posed a navigational hazard, but a local farmer had since helped move the pipe-like object well away from the tide line. 

While Environment Southland was yet to identify the object, it was starting to narrow down the possibilities.

This barnacle-covered object on Auckland's Muriwai beach caused a similar stir when it was first found.

This barnacle-covered object on Auckland’s Muriwai beach caused a similar stir when it was first found.

Coard said a lot of people had contacted him suggesting it was used as part of a mobile fishing operation, possibly for salmon fishing.

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Other suggestions of it being from a farm had been disregarded, due to the object’s size.

“I think it’s from the fishing industry. But what part, I have no idea.”

Debbie Stone of the Marine Farming Association said the object did not look much like a mussel-farm boom, as some had suggested.

“Our out lines are more like ropes.”

However, many other experts and hobbyists wrote in to say it was a standard pipe, probably made of high density polyethylene – with the blue lines indicating it carried water.

Most suggested it was an airtight boom of some sort. 

“It’s like someone welded up a new water pipeline, was ready to pull it back through the hole they’d drilled for it and it ended up in the ocean? It must have been used for a boom for some bloody thing, if it was ever installed as a pipeline, the tapered cap would have been cut off,” wrote reader Chris.

The hook at the end was likely used for towing the pipe while at sea.

“That pipe isn’t from anywhere on land in Southland, that’s for sure!”

Most agreed that it definitely wasn’t used as on-land piping. Some suggested it could be part of a floating oil-containment boom.


This isn’t the first mystery object to wash up on a New Zealand beach.

Earlier this month a barnacle-covered object washed up on Auckland’s Muriwai Beach.

People flocked to see the “Muriwai monster”, which turned out to be barnacle-clad driftwood.

And in 2013, a similar long, pipe-like object was found on Whatipu Beach, also on Auckland’s west coast.

The long object was also black but did not have any lines like the Southland object.

It is understood the mystery object remains at Whatipu.

 – Stuff

Published at Fri, 16 Dec 2016 21:02:24 +0000

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