June 27, 2014
Government action needed to save eels
Participants at this week’s national Maori Eel Symposium have pledged to put pressure on central and local government to clean up the nation’s waterways.
Wai Maori Trust chair Ken Mair says the presentations from scientists and iwi researchers made it clear that there were major threats to sustainability of eel populations because of land use, water diversion, and a lowering of water quality in rivers and other waterways.
He says eels are an important indicator of water quality, and the fact they are heading for extinction in some parts of the country is a sign of crisis.
While intensive agriculture is a problem, it’s government that makes the crucial decisions.
"I mean the government has made it clear it is setting $400 million aside for irrigation. So we can aim at the farmers and rightly so for their demands for more (irrigated) land to make more money. However, the real focus needs to go on central and regional government. They have the power to put a stop to this and to ensure that there is real quality in regard to our waterways," Mr Mair says.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH KEN MAIR CLICK ON THE LINK
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