Bio-Security – Algie closes NZ Rivers to Paddling

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News from New Zealand courtesy of ex-DCC paddler and Treasurer – Duncan Catanach. If you know anyone who has recently returned from paddling in NZ let them know about this and get them to check out decontamination procedures for all their gear in case they have accidentally brought a bit of this algae back with them. Paddling in NZ (and more particularly the South Island) is being dramatically affected by an algae so any Tassie paddler who is planning a trip to NZ should be aware of this. It’s unclear how it will all pan-out in the long term, but it’s being taken very seriously by Biosecurity NZ and paddlers. Below is a notice that has been sent to paddlers in NZ: “Didymo algae or “river snot” has been found on the Buller River. The Buller River has now been declared a biosecurity controlled area and should NOT be paddled. Didymo can be transferred between rivers by as little as one drop and is a disaster for kayakers and river environments generally. In the last few days the didymo algae has been found in another two rivers – one a tributary to the Buller and another river in Otago, the Hawea. It is likely that the didymo algae is in other rivers in the South Island and visiting kayakers should understand that further restrictions (i.e., closure of access and strict decontamination measures) are likely (and enforceable by law – $100,000 fines) if further didymo is found. Precautionary decontamination measures for all South Island rivers may be sensible until the full extent of the outbreak is known. You can keep up-to-date by viewing the NZRCA website, particularly the special didymo page http://www.rivers.org.nz/article/Didymo