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Didymo: Personal Responsibility Key To Prevention

Didymo: Personal Responsibility The Key To Prevent Spread.

Fish & Game New Zealand welcomes today’s announcement by Biosecurity New Zealand to invest heavily in constraining both the spread, and the effects of, this potentially devastating organism.

Fresh water anglers are those most directly affected, but any spread of Didymo will have serious consequences for all enjoying our spectacular waterways and for New Zealand’s international image. “To see Didymo blooming in those infected South Island rivers is tragic and heartbreaking,” said Bryce Johnson, Director of Fish & Game New Zealand. “Containing the spread of this organism and developing ways of reducing its effects is crucial and must be accomplished as a priority.”

Fish & Game New Zealand supports the investment in research to find ways of managing the effects of this organism, but recognises all river users throughout New Zealand must be become aware of their responsibility to prevent Didymo’s spread.

“Of specific interest is the increased emphasis on at-risk groups, key locations and infected waterways, the availability of Didymo awareness material in high impact locations, an increase and simplification of signage on all access points to rivers, and the presence of people at affected rivers actively promoting public awareness. The emphasis on ferry terminals, airports, vehicle rentals agencies and holiday accommodation is applauded. We also encourage the establishment of cleaning sites where appropriate to facilitate and encourage cleaning of boats and equipment that are moving between rivers.”

In a plea to all river users over the coming holiday period, Bryce Johnson asks all Kiwis and visitors to New Zealand to, “take this biosecurity threat seriously and go the extra mile to thoroughly clean everything that has been in any river before moving to the next. This is as important between South Island rivers as it is moving between the South and North Islands. These are your rivers, and their future is in your hands.”

ENDS

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