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Anglers Advised Not To Eat Trout In 1080 Areas

Anglers Advised Not To Eat Trout In 1080 Areas

With the fishing season opening in just a few days (1 October 2014), anglers are being warned by the Department of Conservation(DOC) not to eat trout from pristine backcountry waters and their downstream catchments, where the department is conducting 1080 poisoning operations.

In response to publicly expressed concerns by the New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers, and supported by Fish & Game New Zealand, DOC commissioned research by the independent Cawthron Research Institute on the risks of mice carrying sub-lethal levels of 1080, and which are routinely consumed by trout, becoming a food safety risk for humans.

Chief executive of Fish & Game New Zealand, Bryce Johnson says “The results indicate that, 1080 levels in trout flesh were significantly in excess of recognised Food Safety guidelines(FSA), for safe human health and DOC is now having to advise anglers not to eat trout caught in 1080 poisoned catchments, until advised otherwise.”

“Anglers fishing back country waters, including overseas anglers who come here because of the trout fishery’s international reputation, have always been able to assume that it is totally safe to catch a trout and eat it. Sadly, this turns that over and is not a good look for New Zealand’s 100% pure environmental brand.”

The massive poisoning operation being conducted by DOC, is in response to the anticipated ‘mouse plague’ caused by the cyclic production of beech seeds in native forests, for which this year is a high point.

“While we understand why DOC is doing this, the findings from this recent research has added a very significant and concerning new dimension to the 1080 debate”, said Mr Johnson.

Fish & Game also believe the ramifications of this extend well beyond just the poison sites, and Mr Johnson added he was pleased DOC has investigated the anglers concerns, accepted the research findings and has taken the lead in managing the consequences.

Mr Johnson says that while he realises the timing, so close to the season opening is unfortunate, his organisation has been left with no choice but to support this advisory from DOC, and adds that “further research to more closely simulate the natural, wild environment is needed to provide, a more accurate picture of the risks.”

“Fish and game is not saying don’t go fishing in the back country, just don’t eat the fish.”


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