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New Zealand Becomes Strict with Salvinia and Water Hyacinth
A blackmarket trade in a Brazilian aquatic weed is threatening to choke waterways in the Waipa District that could flood land and create a hazard where people and livestock could drown.

Salvinia (kariba weed) was introduced to New Zealand nearly a century ago for fishponds and is now found in Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) response manager Emmanuel Yamoah said salvinia has been declared an unwanted organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993, which made it illegal to sell, propagate and distribute the plant. Although people have it in their ponds because it provides a good environment for fry and fish breeders and plant enthusiasts often trade the plants amongst themselves.
The Te Awamutu discovery had MPI officials and Waipa District Council concerned that the trade in both salvinia and another invasive
weed, water hyacinth, would cause damage to local waterways and native plant and fish species.

Both salvinia and water hyacinth were among the world's most invasive weeds and growing and sharing them was illegal and undermined eradication efforts and penalties include fines and imprisonment.

 
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