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‘World Fish Migration Day’ launched from Christchurch City

‘World Fish Migration Day’ launched from Christchurch City

A new global environmental programme was officially launched from Christchurch on Saturday 24. Christchurch City provided the first of 270 events being held in 52 countries to promote ‘World Fish Migration Day 2014’.

Staff from a range of organisations involved with protecting freshwater fish and their environment joined forces to create a hands-on event to promote the importance of open rivers, our special migratory native fish and their needs.

The family fun day was held in the new ‘Nature Play Site’ located next to Latimer Square.

This site, developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) in partnership with the Greening the Rubble Trust, showcases a range of Canterbury natural landscapes. The miniature circulating pumped braided river made this a perfect location to stress how important it is for inanga whitebait to be able to travel upstream to breed.

Various activities run throughout the day included information stations, videos, live fish displays, games, colouring in, lolly scrambles, practical demonstrations, guest speakers and a treasure hunt.

The Associate Minister for Conservation, Nicky Wagner visited in the afternoon to and helped “Kokopu Dave” in a practical demonstration of inanga whitebait trying to negotiate a makeshift fish pass.

DOC’s Freshwater Technical Advisor, Sjaan Bowie said the event was a great success with over 200 people attending to learn why fish need open rivers and pathways and about the country’s special freshwater fish.

“In New Zealand we have around 40 native fish and a number of introduced sports fish, many of which need to move within waterways, and between freshwater and the sea to complete their lifecycles. Over time we have altered our waterways by adding culverts, weirs and dams that can obstruct these movements, contributing to the decline and loss of these fish from our waterways”.

Sjaan hopes this will become an annual event for Christchurch.

Ends

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