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Didymo scare shows need to up the ante

2 November 2006

Didymo scare shows need to up the ante

The finding that a suspicious alga found in the Rangatikei River is not didymo is great news, but the scare has highlighted the seriousness of the risk and the need to take stringent measures to prevent the spread of the damaging alga, Green Party Biosecurity Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"I am very pleased that this scare has turned out to be a false alarm, as it would be disastrous if didymo had found its way into North Island rivers," Mrs Turei says.

"However, this could still happen if we do not up the ante with measures to prevent its spread. Biosecurity New Zealand must rise to the challenge and increase the number of checks of fishing gear and boats at Picton to ensure that didymo is not crossing Cook Strait.

"Didymo has proven its ability to spread very quickly, so if any more suspicious alga are found, the area concerned should be closed off immediately.

"We cannot afford to get complacent in efforts to prevent the spread of this environmentally disastrous pest," Mrs Turei says.


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