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Monday, May 29, 2006

Southland didymo pics

What lurks beneath?

Oreti River (@ less than 1 year)

Mararoa River (@ approx. 2 years)

RNZ reports:

The invasive alga didymo is continuing to spread through the South Island, with five new discoveries in catchments close to or previously affected by the pest.
Biosecurity New Zealand has confirmed that didymo is now in the: Upukerora River in the Te Anau catchment; the Gowan in the Buller catchment; the Twizel and Ohau Rivers in the Waitaki catchment; and the Fraser River in the Clutha catchment.
On the plus side, Biosecurity says a just-completed survey of North Island catchments shows didymo has not yet spread north.

Can you believe the spin? "On the plus side"! Their overwhelming negligence is in an early enough stage that it isn't in the North Island... yet! Biosecurity need to have a purge of the negligent staff who let this plague establish itself as a seemingly permanent fixture. Fire those fucking hopeless arseholes and the Ministers who blindly rubber stamp their shit. They are sabotaging the environment, fishing, tourism, lifestyle and heritage. What will the next generation inherit? Slime thick across every river system in the country.

Where was the immediate quarantine to start with? A series of little signs next to rivers saying people should clean everything - that's simply ridiculous. It only takes one to spread it. The attitude of responsibility transference (blame shift) present within that bureaucracy is that it is the people who don't pay attention to their bullshit little signs that have caused it all. No - it's Biosecurity's fault from go to woe. This is a disaster. How long until it catches a ride on Te Ika-a-Maui?

As I have consistently stated since December Biosecurity plans for it to spread - not to contain and eradicate. An immediate quarantine - a 100% no-go area should have been thrown up when first discovered and the kayaks that almost certainly brought it in should be thoroughly inspected at the borders, then that summer the affected rivers should have been damned and then flushed, sprayed, burnt - whatever it takes - to get rid of it. Then we wouldn't be in this situation.

And we'll keep our ears pricked for Russell Brown and his defeatist/apologist friends to come to Biosecurity's aid and claim once again that they've done a wonderful job and that my idea is wrong and impractical... So I'll have to say it again for those people because they just don't seem to get it:
1. This is an environmental catastrophy.
2. Didymo must be eradicated - not protected.
3. Quarantine must be thrown up and enforced completely.
4. The only way to eradicate is to "flush" the affected rivers.
5. We can re-stock the rivers afterwards.
6. Biosecurity is completely responsible for this mess.



At 29/5/06 3:40 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only way to eradicate is to "flush" the affected rivers.

from a comment over at Sir Humphrey's, from someone who seems to know what they're talking about...

Killing Didymo requires a 2% bleach or 5% salt solution. So for every cubic metre of water (1,000 litres) you need 20 litres of bleach. If the waterflow is 30 cumecs (30 cubic metres per second) you need 600 litres of bleach. Per second. For many, many seconds (say 180, to ensure an adequate mix). 108,000 litres of pure bleach, dumped into the headwaters in three minutes. Quite a logistics feat, though not an impossible one (it'd only take 27 Army Unimogs, I doubt tankers would get that far). This might sound quite feasible, but we don't know if it would work. No study has been done on whether the chlorine will actually mix to the required dosage down the whole 200km strech of affected river to KILL EVERTY DIDYMO CELL. Maybe we'd need to double the chlorine, so get another 108,000 litres of bleach. Or maybe we also need to double the time span, so get another 216,000 litres. Pretty soon you're talking some serious figures. And I'm only talking about the Waiau and Mataroa here, not the Buller or any other river.

At 29/5/06 4:01 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

I am aware of the post and the comments. So what does this person "seem" to know? - A lot of excuses and deiberately making a worse case scenario. It sounds very much like they work for Biosecurity and thus have every reason to cover their tail and muddy the waters (as it were).

I say do it in summer when the flow is minimal, dam the rivers at various points to reduce flow. Then flush! Ground spraying down all the banks and even helicopter spraying may be needed in several waves. If a concentration of something that can be washed out and have minimal long term affects then good. Whether this is bleach or salt or some other chemical I don't know.

If that commenter suggests using the army then at least we can agree on something.

At 30/5/06 10:36 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So what does this person "seem" to know?"

More than you "seem" to know, apparently.

"dam the rivers"? "helicopter spraying"? what the hell are you on about?

At 31/5/06 2:40 pm, Blogger andrew said...

I doubt if anonymous has seen a helicopter anywhere other than hovering over auckland duribng a P lab bust.
Helicopter spraying is a very efficient way of doing what Tim suggests, and if you have actually SEEN a South Island river in Summer, you would appreciate that the damming (to reduce flow and lower levels) is not such a stupid idea.

What the hell is anonymous on about.

At 2/6/06 9:39 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about what "anonymous" has to say. He/she is most likely to be from West Auckland and has been affected badly from the last pest spraying a few years back.

I have to agree that something more has to be done to try and control the spread. As the article says, a few signs here and there is hardly what you call a controlled area. Heck, if a man in gumboots can walk in and walk out then, hey presto..the spread has started.
And if your from the Southland, you know the moto...a man never goes far without his wellies!!


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