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25 September 2007
With the fishing season due to start next Monday (October 1), MAF Biosecurity New Zealand and Fish & Game are reminding anglers, and other recreational freshwater users of the importance of cleaning their equipment between waterways.
“Before leaving a waterway, people should check items and leave any debris they find at the waterway,” said Chris Bicknell, MAFBNZ Didymo Response manager.
All items should then be cleaned for at least one minute with a five percent solution of dishwashing liquid or nappy cleaner.
“The application method is equally important, as water absorbent materials such as felt-soled waders and boots require longer soaking times to allow thorough saturation,” said Mr Bicknell.
Felt-soled waders require soaking for at least 40 minutes in hot water kept above 45°C or soaking for 30 minutes in hot water kept above 45°C containing five percent dishwashing detergent or nappy cleaner.
“We recommend anglers use rubber-soled footwear instead, which are easier to clean and dry and represent less of a risk to spreading didymo.”
If cleaning an item was not practical, it should be allowed to dry. Once touch dry it should be left dry for another 48 hours. Freezing any item until solid will also kill didymo. If cleaning or drying is not practical, restrict equipment to use in a single waterway.
Fish & Game New Zealand manager Steve Smith asked anglers to make a big effort to comply with the cleaning requirements.
“We have been frustrated in the past with the number of anglers who know about didymo but still do not clean their equipment. I would ask every angler this season to think how they can ensure that they do not put our fisheries at risk. It is not a big effort to clean your equipment, but it is very necessary, not just for didymo but other aquatic pests as well.”
More information about didymo and cleaning instructions is on the MAF Biosecurity New Zealand website
Steve Smith, Manager, Eastern Fish & Game Region, 021 888 669
Judith Hamblyn, Senior Communications Adviser, Biosecurity New Zealand, 029 894 0687
To report a suspected exotic pest or disease, call the Emergency Hotline on 0800 80 99 66