Published on Australian Maritime Safety Authority (

AMSA investigates source of canisters in Queensland

Tuesday 8 January 2013

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is gathering information to try to determine the original source of the canisters containing Aluminium Phosphide which have been collected on Queensland’s beaches.

Media Release

AMSA is trying to ascertain if the canisters are from a ship, and if they were, was their disposal a deliberate act of pollution or an accidental cargo loss in Australian waters.

AMSA has checked incident reports of cargo losses which show no record of a vessel having reported losing this type of cargo.

Working with marine science experts, AMSA is using drift modelling to help rule out some possibilities, such as cargo loss from recent ship groundings or capsizes in the Pacific region.

AMSA has made enquiries with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to assist with determining if the canisters are Australian stock.

Following this research, AMSA will take any available steps to ensure events such as these do not occur.

However, it may not be possible to ultimately confirm the original source of the canisters due to the apparently long time lapse between when they may have entered the water and when they have been found.

AMSA expects to provide more information at the end of the week.