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29 September 2006.
With the fishing season due to start on Sunday (October 1), Biosecurity New
Zealand is reminding fishermen and other recreational freshwater users of the
importance of cleaning their equipment between waterways.
Biosecurity New Zealand would be stepping up the "Check, Clean,
Dry" message with staff at the Interisland Ferry Terminals and other
locations over the high-risk summer period, and partner organisations would be
working with Biosecurity New Zealand to help spread that simple but vital
message, biosecurity response manager David Hayes says.
"While much has been made in the media lately of a potential control
option for didymo, it has still to be tested and shown to be effective and safe
in a river environment. Even if a tool is forthcoming, the best way to protect
our waters against didymo is all freshwater users cleaning their gear with the
approved methods between waterways regardless of their location," Mr
"Before leaving a waterway, people should check items for clumps of
algae. Leave any debris that is found at the waterway. 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 need to be soaked," Mr Hayes says.
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.
"The BNZ spray-soak-scrub cleaning methods have been shown to be
effective and were deliberately designed to make use of a wide range of
commercially available cleaning products to ensure cleaning gear was as simple
and accessible as possible. You can use a variety of dishwashing liquids, nappy
cleaners or similar products in the right concentrations.
"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. Personal
responsibility to clean equipment remains our best weapon against didymo and
other aquatic pests," Mr Hayes says.
Media contact: Phil Barclay, Senior Communications Adviser,
Biosecurity New Zealand, 029 894 0432.
To report a suspected exotic pest or disease, call the Emergency
Hotline on 0800 80 99 66.