1 May 2008
In response to recent reports circulating about the apparent 'disappearance' of didymo, particularly in the Waitaki, Hakataramea and Maerewhenua Rivers, MAF Biosecurity New Zealand can confirm that didymo is still present in the those rivers and people must check, clean and dry their equipment before moving to other waterways.
MAFBNZ believes the 'disappearance' of didymo from some South Island waterways including the Waitaki River is part of a natural cycle which has occurred before. Algae in rivers often follow cycles of blooming, then receding, before blooming again.
"There are many variables which can affect these cycles and didymo blooms are expected to reappear," Chris Bicknell Didymo Response Manager said.
"Didymo is a microscopic organism which often exists in waterways for a long time without being visible to the naked eye. All waterway users should decontaminate their equipment when moving between waterways, in the South or North Island.
"Check, Clean, Dry is still the best way to prevent the spread of didymo and other aquatic pests" said Mr Bicknell.
For more information and approved cleaning methods go to www.biosecurity.govt.nz/didymo
- Matthew Thorpe, Communications Adviser, MAF Biosecurity New Zealand, Ph 04 894 0276 or 029 894 0436