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Prevent The Spread Of Invasive Freshwater Species

Coming into the summer holiday season, Council and the Ministry for Primary Industries ask everyone in Tairāwhiti to prevent the spread of invasive freshwater species by remembering to 'Check Clean Dry' between waterways.

Council Freshwater Biosecurity Advocate Emily Fitzgerald is working to get this message out.

“Summer means more of us are out on the water enjoying ourselves and we want to keep it that way,” says Ms Fitzgerald.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to try to preserve the environmental integrity of our waterways for future generations.

“Everyone plays their part. Preventing these pests from coming into our region is a lot easier than trying to get rid of them.

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

Ms Fitzgerald says following these simple procedures helps slow freshwater pests like didymo from spreading.

CHECK items and remove any weed fragments or fish before leaving a waterway.

CLEAN all items by soaking or spraying with a ten percent solution of detergent and leave item wet for 10 minutes. Water absorbent materials such as boots, wetsuits, and lifejackets require longer soaking times to allow thorough saturation.

and/or DRY equipment thoroughly inside and out, then wait for at least another 48 hours. Drying will kill invisible algae cells, but they can survive on slightly moist items for months.

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Council Biosecurity Team Leader Phil Karaitiana says once in a waterway, invasive freshwater pests like catfish, hornwort and lindavia (lake snow) can disperse rapidly and destroy the environmental, recreational, and aesthetic values of them.

“Aquatic pest plants and fish can choke our rivers and lakes, making them murky and squeezing the life out of them, causing the decline of native species.

“Tairāwhiti is lucky to be free of many freshwater pest plants and fish affecting other regions in the North and South Island and it is up to all of us to do our part in keeping it this way.

“Some freshwater pests, like didymo, are microscopic and can be spread by a single drop of water. It is very easy to spread pests without being aware of it.”

For more information about freshwater pests visit our website or Ministry for Primary Industries.

  • If you suspect you’ve sighted didymo or anything else, ring Biosecurity New Zealand’s hotline on 0800 80 99 66.

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