Didymo Stakeholder Update - 31 October 2008
31 October 2008
The purpose of this update is to keep you informed about recent work in support of the didymo long-term management programme.
Responsibility for didymo programme management
From 1 July 2008 the didymo long-term management (LTM) programme became fully operative, and all the programme activities became the responsibility of MAF Biosecurity New Zealand’s Pest Management Group. The key didymo programme contacts at MAFBNZ are listed below.
|Name||Role||Area of responsibility||Phone|
|Corinna Bennett||Long-Term Management Coordinator||Point of contact for regional groups and coordination of partner-related activities||04 894 5534
029 894 5534
|Matthew Thorpe||Marketing Adviser||Distributing public awareness material and summer advocacy programme support||04 894 0276
029 894 0436
|Jeff Donaldson||South Island LTM Operations Manager||Support of South Island regional group operations and planning||027 435 email@example.com|
|Steve Smith||North Island LTM Operations Manager||Support of North Island regional group operations and planning||021 888 firstname.lastname@example.org|
Didymo Long Term Management Steering Group Update
The Didymo Long Term Management Steering Group met on the 15th of October. Key topics of discussion included the didymo North Island incursion simulation in Napier in September (see below for further information), regional response planning, and the “Check, Clean, Dry” social marketing programme. The Steering Group has representatives from MAFBNZ, DOC, Fish & Game, Regional Councils, Industry and Iwi and has oversight of the didymo long term management programme.
Didymo North Island Incursion Simulation
A simulation of a North Island incursion of didymo was held at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council offices in Napier on 26 September. The site chosen for the simulation was Willow Flat on the Mohaka River. The exercise objectives were:
1. To test the Hawkes Bay/East Coast Regional Didymo Response Plan.
2. To test the interface between the MAFBNZ Response Model and a partner Response Plan.
3. To demonstrate MAF Biosecurity New Zealand’s role in a North Island incursion of didymo
Feedback from this has been positive, and has identified opportunities for improvements to response systems and plans. We are looking to run the next simulation in another North Island region early in 2009.
There has been a very good uptake of advocacy funding this year, with 15 regions successfully applying for funds to assist them with their summer aquatic pest awareness programmes. Some advocates have already started work!
This summer there will again be advocates at the Wellington ferry terminals (in addition to the permanent advocates at the Picton terminals). They will be starting on the 15th of November and will work for 3 months over the peak travel period.
We have material available for didymo advocates to use again this year. Again we have the core products available (information packs, pocket cleaning guides, brochures, spray bottles). This year the very popular jelly beans have been replaced by branded lollipops, these will be available for use at events, school visits or local shows.
To order any didymo material contact Matthew at email@example.com
Check, Clean, Dry Advisory Group (CCDAG)
MAF Biosecurity New Zealand have been working on establishing a Check, Clean, Dry Advisory Group (CCDAG) to provide guidance for the check, clean, dry social marketing programme, and to drive the broadening of this message to include all aquatic pests. Membership of the group has been confirmed, and the first meeting is scheduled for early November.
Summary of Check Clean Dry 2007-2008 campaign evaluation
MAF Biosecurity New Zealand commissioned The Nielsen Company to evaluate the success of the Check, Clean, Dry campaign for the summer of 2007-2008. This evaluation was done via an online survey, targeted at waterway users – Fish & Game licence holders, jet boaters, Kayak and boating clubs, and 4WD and tramping clubs. 2695 surveys were completed, and the data was weighted so it was comparable with the 2006-2007 survey.
The key message from this evaluation was that there have been increases in awareness of the phrase “Check, Clean, Dry” and increases in freshwater users seriously considering how they can stop didymo spreading and making an effort to check, clean, dry. Fewer people than in 2007 consider didymo a threat to their sport – overall didymo has not had a major impact on participation in sporting activities.
Key facts for freshwater users surveyed in 2008:
- 99% are aware of didymo
- 98% have seen some of the communications material, e.g. signs, posters
- 37% have been in didymo infested waters (72% of South Islanders and 18% of North Islanders)
These results highlight that although there has been an improved level of uptake of the check, clean, dry message it is still important for freshwater users to remain vigilant to the risks of spreading didymo, especially so for the 18% of North Islanders that have been in an infected South Island river.
The survey next year will test awareness and behaviour in relation to didymo and other aquatic pests to inform the ongoing development of the Check, Clean, Dry campaign so that it addresses all aquatic pests.
For more information about didymo visit our new website at www.biosecurity.govt.nz
To report an exotic pest or disease, call the MAF Emergency Pest and Disease Hotline:
0800 80 99 66
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