Fishermen reminded about didymo precautions for upcoming season

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 Hayes says.

"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.



Last Updated: 24 September 2010

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