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25 January 2006
Didymo has been confirmed in the Waitaki River, Biosecurity New Zealand
Biosecurity New Zealand Manager Surveillance and Incursion Response David
Hayes said a sample from downstream of Kurow, near Waikaura, had been submitted
by Fish and Game. The identification was confirmed by NIWA this morning.
"Right now, we only know that Didymo is present in the river below the
township but we expect it will be present in microscopic form downstream and
possibly upstream as well, Dr Hayes says.
"We can't say how long it has been in the river. We didn't
detect it when we sampled the Waitaki as part of the national delimiting survey
late last year, but it is possible it was present then in microscopic form and
not detected. There is adequate signage in the area and high levels of public
awareness. We are working with Environment Canterbury, Fish and Game and the
Department of Conservation to see if further local actions are required.
"That a further river has been found to be affected is not unforeseen.
Once again we remind freshwater users that Didymo is a microscopic organism,
and personal responsibility is the key to limiting its spread. Users of
freshwaters should Check, Clean, Dry all items between waterways".
Results of environmental trials of potential Didymo control options being
conducted in Southland are expected later this year.
Senior Communications Adviser
Biosecurity New Zealand
027 229 9145