Aquaculture for all

New Zealand's Tourism, Seafood Threatened by Exotic Algae, Pest

NEW ZEALAND - New Zealand officials say two of the nation's biggest industries, tourism and fishing, are under attack from exotic algae and sea creatures.

Didymosphenia geminata, or didymo, has been found in at least six rivers in the past 12 months, prompting the closure of waterways and a campaign to halt the spread of the dense, slimy algae. A permit is now required to access some of the rivers in Fiordland National Park, the country's largest nature reserve.

``It's terrible stuff,'' said Mike Molineux, owner of Manapouri, South Island-based tour company Fish Fiordland and a fishing guide for 25 years. ``It makes the rivers un-fishable. With every cast it was on your line, or on your fly,'' he said in a telephone interview on Oct. 26.

Didymo is one of two exotic species found in New Zealand waters in the past year. Biosecurity New Zealand, a government agency in Wellington, is also trying to curtail the spread of a small oceanic creature called a sea squirt that may threaten New Zealand's NZ$200 million ($141 million) mussel farming industry. Scientists say it may not be possible to eradicate the pest that smothers shellfish.

Source: Bloomberg

Create an account now to keep reading

It'll only take a second and we'll take you right back to what you were reading. The best part? It's free.

Already have an account? Sign in here