August 04, 2020
Catfish firing blanks in Rotorua test
Te Arawa Lakes Trust and Bay of Plenty Regional Council are looking at using a new biological control method to eradicate brown bullhead catfish in in Lakes Rotoiti and Rotorua.
Trust environment manager Nicki Douglas says catfish are having a devastating effect on kōura and other taonga species.
The new method involves releasing sterile male catfish into a waterbody to disrupt reproduction by causing catfish eggs to be left unfertilised.
It was given the thumbs up in a feasibility study by NIWA, the National Institute for Water and Atmosphere.
Ms Douglas says the Rotorua project will include mātauranga Māori-based research and incorporate kaupapa Māori assessments in decision making.
She says biocontrol takes time, so the work of Te Arawa Catfish Killas will continue to be crucial to control catfish numbers.
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