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Don’t spread freshwater pests this hunting season

Friday 26 April 2019

With duck shooting season starting next Saturday 4 May, Gisborne District Council and the Ministry for Primary Industries are reminding hunters across the region of the importance of cleaning their equipment between waterways to avoid the spread of unwanted freshwater pests including the invasive algae, didymo.

“Unwanted freshwater pests such as didymo, lake snow, and hornwort pose a serious threat to our rivers, streams and lakes,” says Council Biosecurity Team Leader, Phil Karaitiana.

“Once in a waterway they can disperse rapidly and destroy the environmental, recreational and aesthetic values of our waterways.”

“We’re asking hunters moving between waterways to check, clean, and dry any equipment that has come into contact with river or lake water – particularly boots.

“Some freshwater pests, like didymo and lake snow, are microscopic and can be spread by a single drop of water. Even if you can’t see the danger you could be spreading it.”

Mr Karaitiana says before leaving a waterway, people should check items and leave behind any weed or debris they find.

“All items should then be cleaned for at least one minute with a biodegradable dishwashing solution, use about one tablespoon of detergent per 250ml.”

“Water absorbent materials such as boots require longer soaking times to allow thorough saturation.

Drying will kill didymo, but even slightly moist items can carry microscopic pests for months.

The item must be completely dry to the touch, inside and out, then left dry for at least another 48 hours before use.

“Following these simple procedures will help slow freshwater pests from spreading throughout New Zealand waterways. It’s everyone’s responsibility to try to preserve the integrity of our waterways for future generations,” says Mr Karaitiana.

“Just remember to ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ when moving from one waterway to another, anywhere in New Zealand.”

For more information about didymo and freshwater pests go to Councils website or visit www.mpi.govt.nz/check-clean-dry.


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