Press Release from the NZ Outdoors Party
“Anglers around Taupo and throughout the country are angry about the proposed Grass & Silver Carp farm at Taupo which has already been approved by DoC and Fish and Game” said Alan Simmons leader of the NZ Outdoors Party.. Mr Simmons said “that the proposal had largely fallen under the radar during the Xmas holiday period with public notices only appearing in a national daily newspaper outside of the region, but as the proposal has become clearer anglers are now showing anger with the proposal.
The Federation of Freshwater Anglers which represents thousands of fishing club members around New Zealand is horrified by the proposal and has strongly objected to the Department of Conservation.
Silver Carp are regarded as a highly invasive species all over the world and are causing huge problems in some countries requiring massive extermination efforts as has happened in the United States. “Why can we not learn from other countries mistakes?” asked Alan Simmons.
“While we are assured the fish cannot escape, they do, and have everywhere they have been introduced and once in lake Taupo they will destroy our wonderful clean lake and trout fishery.
The NZ Outdoors Party is vehemently opposed to any Silver Carp farm anywhere near lake Taupo” said party leader Alan Simmons.
Silver carp breed by swimming up rivers to lay their eggs in huge numbers and because they have no stomach they eat endlessly on plankton, the same food that smelt eat, with smelt making up 99% of the trout diet, anything that affects smelt affects the whole multimillion dollar trout fishery which the people of Taupo rely on for a living.
Mr Simmons said “the fish grow to a huge size, like 40 plus kilos and a fish of that size consumes a lot of plankton in 24 hours. Known as the jumping fish in the USA as they leap up to 3 meters from the water when startled they are an extremely difficult fish to catch as they are plankton eaters.
Mr Simmons said “he just cannot understand how the Department of Conservation could allow any such proposal that would endanger the pristine waters of Lake Taupo. I recall being told by officials that the catfish which also is an invasive species would not impact on Lake Taupo and would not thrive. Now they are seen in huge schools of several thousand fish. Those same officials are now telling us Silver Carp farming is safe and that the fish cannot escape, regardless nothing is stopping a human from transporting some a few kilometers and letting them go as they did with the catfish.”
“If someone from Gisborne wants to farm grass or silver carp at Taupo for the Asian live fish Market in Auckland then let them do it in Auckland and not next to one of the worlds most pristine and beautiful lakes.”
“The proposal also is seeking consent to open fish out ponds for the Asian tourist again putting the established fishery at risk just to please an Asian tourist culture. It is the New Zealand culture and way of life we should be showing off!”
Alan Simmons called on all anglers to urgently voice their concern to the Minister of Conservation immediately before she approves the farm which is supposed to be in the next few weeks.
NZ Outdoors Party