Although many of NZ’s rivers are pristine, they are all under threat from introduced aquatic pests.
The most widely publicised pest is Didymo, although there are a number of other organisms which are threatening the beauty and ecology of our freshwater ecosystems.
As packrafters, we have high mobility between river systems, increasing the chances of spreading these terrible unwanted pests. Its easy to prevent the spread, CHECK, CLEAN and/or DRY your gear when moving between catchments.
A single drop of water can spread this terrible pest, so Packrafters must be extremely vigilant to CHECK, CLEAN and DRY their gear in accordance with the direction on the biosecurity website. A small bottle of detergent, plus a few moments to inspect your gear can make all the difference.
There are also special restrictions enforced by DOC in Fiordland National park.
Research demonstrates how important it is to use the correct concentration of cleaning agent.
Didymo is not the only pest that threatens our waterways. The Biosecurity website has more information. Also, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has an information page about the many unwanted plant species.
By awareness of the risks and application of CHECK, CLEAN, DRY we can stop the spread of these pests to our rivers and lakes.
PLEASE ensure you do your part, it only takes a moments carelessness to alter a watercourse forever. There is no known way to remove didymo completely once a water way is infected.