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Whitebait Off The Menu

Media Release

17 September 2008

Whitebait Off The Menu

Reports that whitebait are disappearing from rivers and streams are of great concern and could spell the end of another Kiwi icon, says New Zealand First environment spokesperson Doug Woolerton.

“Something is seriously amiss in this ‘clean, green’ country of ours if we allow the decimation of the humble whitebait to continue. Generations of New Zealanders have enjoyed the ritual of following the tides and placing their nets in the hope of enjoying a delicious whitebait pattie,” said Mr Woolerton.

“Erosion of the land and the resulting run off of silt play a large part of the problem, as well as sewerage contamination and overfishing by those who stand to profit financially. Such issues can and must be resolved.

“It’s time measures were put in place to minimise the erosion problem and investigate the sources of sewerage seeping into our waterways. There must also be a curb placed on excessive fishing of whitebait in order to protect stocks. It would be sad indeed to witness the end of such a long standing Kiwi tradition,” said Mr Woolerton.


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