Campaiging to keep didymo out

Rock snot has a dedicated opponent in our region.

Rock snot has a dedicated opponent in our region.

BE VIGILANT: Corey Kopua wants to raise awareness about didymo and other freshwater pests to stop them from spreading from the South Island to Gisborne and Wairoa. Picture by Paul Rickard
Dead dry didymo beside the Mararoa River in Southland. The pest is a native of North America. "Didymo 079" by Thorney, at the English language Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Didymo_079.jpg#/media/File:Didymo_079.jpg

A GISBORNE man has taken on the task of helping to stop a fresh water pest from entering this region and Wairoa.

Didymo, or “rock snot”, can wreak havoc in waterways and although it is found only in the South Island, people need to be vigilant to ensure it does not spread here, says Gisborne District Council didymo worker Corey Kopua.

“The aim is to create a change in behaviour, getting people to think more about their actions and how they go about freshwater use.

“Getting the message through to people and teaching them, especially the children, in order to keep this place sustainable for the future is crucial.”

Education on how to stop it will be implemented through the Check, Clean and Dry programme, a collaboration between a number of local and national bodies such as Gisborne District Council, Fish and Game NZ, the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

“If you are moving between waterways anywhere in New Zealand or outside, you must clean all your gear using the Check, Clean and Dry. This goes for boots, rods, bikes, vehicles and especially boats.

“If any of these types of objects carry any of these freshwater pests, they can cause major problems in our waterways. It only takes a mere drop of infected water to start the spreading process.”

Didymo can establish itself in streams, rivers and lake beds via stalks, and it can form a thick brown layer that smothers rocks, plants and other materials.

Other freshwater pest plants like Hornwort, Parrots Feather and Lagarosiphon, commonly referred to as oxygen weed, are also a threat.

“These can all be found in the North Island and can choke waterways and seriously disrupt the ecology of all freshwater ways.

“We do not want these freshwater pests in our region. Everyone loses out, the environment, us and generations to come.”

Possible sightings should be reported to 0800 80 99 66 and for further information contact Gisborne District Council.

A GISBORNE man has taken on the task of helping to stop a fresh water pest from entering this region and Wairoa.

Didymo, or “rock snot”, can wreak havoc in waterways and although it is found only in the South Island, people need to be vigilant to ensure it does not spread here, says Gisborne District Council didymo worker Corey Kopua.

“The aim is to create a change in behaviour, getting people to think more about their actions and how they go about freshwater use.

“Getting the message through to people and teaching them, especially the children, in order to keep this place sustainable for the future is crucial.”

Education on how to stop it will be implemented through the Check, Clean and Dry programme, a collaboration between a number of local and national bodies such as Gisborne District Council, Fish and Game NZ, the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

“If you are moving between waterways anywhere in New Zealand or outside, you must clean all your gear using the Check, Clean and Dry. This goes for boots, rods, bikes, vehicles and especially boats.

“If any of these types of objects carry any of these freshwater pests, they can cause major problems in our waterways. It only takes a mere drop of infected water to start the spreading process.”

Didymo can establish itself in streams, rivers and lake beds via stalks, and it can form a thick brown layer that smothers rocks, plants and other materials.

Other freshwater pest plants like Hornwort, Parrots Feather and Lagarosiphon, commonly referred to as oxygen weed, are also a threat.

“These can all be found in the North Island and can choke waterways and seriously disrupt the ecology of all freshwater ways.

“We do not want these freshwater pests in our region. Everyone loses out, the environment, us and generations to come.”

Possible sightings should be reported to 0800 80 99 66 and for further information contact Gisborne District Council.

Didymo

Didymo (Didymosphenia geminata), also known as "rock snot" is a freshwater diatom (a type of alga) and was first reported in New Zealand in the Lower Waiau River in 2004. Didymo is currently found in over 150 South Island Rivers, but is not in the North Island. Under the Biosecurity Act 1993, the entire South Island is a Controlled Area. This means people are legally obliged to prevent the spread of didymo.

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