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No Didymo finds in the North Island

29 May 2006

No Didymo finds in the North Island

A national didymo delimiting survey has been completed with no positive samples for the North Island, Biosecurity New Zealand Surveillance and Response manager David Hayes said today.

However, didymo was found in the Upukerora, a river in the Te Anau catchment, the Gowan in the Buller catchment, the Twizel and Ohau Rivers in the Waitaki catchment and the Fraser River in the Clutha catchment. All of these catchments are close to or have been previously affected by didymo.

“Biosecurity New Zealand is heartened that the efforts to keep didymo out of the North Island have apparently been successful to date and that the spread of didymo has been confined to a few river catchments. This has not just been because of the work Biosecurity New Zealand has done but also the work of the various regional councils, Department of Conservation, Fish and Game and other freshwater river users.”

“It is also great to see the efforts that some small communities in the North Island, such as Turangi, are making to develop useful strategies to reduce the chance of didymo affecting their local rivers.

“92% of all river users in the South Island are aware of Didymo but despite our best efforts we cannot guarantee that this invasive alga will not continue to spread.

“Biosecurity New Zealand can lead the response but the best chance we have of slowing the spread of didymo is for all New Zealand river users to practice the simple Check Clean Dry procedure everytime and everywhere they use a waterway, Mr Hayes said.

ENDS

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