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Didymo Awareness Not Diminishing

Media Release 11 December 2008

Didymo Awareness Not Diminishing


The summertime didymo education programme has started again and a student has been contracted by Hawke's Bay Regional Council to reinforce the message of Check Clean Dry along our favourite recreational rivers.

This is part of a national partnership between MAF Biosecurity New Zealand, Regional Councils and other stakeholders to reduce the risk of didymo and other aquatic plant pests spreading.

Didymo is a microscopic algae that is currently found in the South Island and forms ‘rock snot’ on river beds.

Leighton Simmons, a Victoria University environmental science student, is already out and about to remind people to Check Clean and Dry as they leave the river.

“The big thing people need to know about this pest is that it is microscopic - you cannot see it, so you will have no idea that you have it on your gear, which is why Check Clean Dry has to be a habit for everyone enjoying rivers and streams for recreation,” said Biosecurity manager Campbell Leckie.

“We had a great response last summer from people along the rivers, but we can’t afford any drop in knowledge of the risks. We all need to do something to keep this pest out of the North Island.”

Leighton Simmons will be at popular river spots, especially during weekends to help get the message to occasional recreational river users.

Mr Leckie says that the Check, Clean, Dry motto has a high awareness, but still needs to be a permanent habit for people and their gear in freshwater. Boots, boats, trailers, fishing gear, even feet need to be checked every time they come out of a river.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council works closely with MAF Biosecurity New Zealand, HB Fish and Game, and Department of Conservation in Hawke’s Bay and they are all reinforcing the message to members, visitors and water users.

ends


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