Federated Farmers & Dairy NZ blame trout for dirty rivers – yes really

via Imgur

Federated Farmers also believes the quality of 80 per cent of waterways is improving or being maintained, and a catchment by catchment approach, using solutions based on science and hard data is the best way to tackle those rivers and lakes where there is a problem.

Of the 20 per cent or so of waterways which have been getting worse there are range of causes, including farm animals, soil erosion, wildfowl, trout and koi carp, factory discharges, urban sewage and storm water.

“It’s the tried and true 80:20 rule,” Federated Farmers water spokesman Chris Allen said. “Concentrating efforts where there will be greatest gain is a path borne out by the findings and measures in the Ministry for the Environment’s extensive report.”

There has been something of a fixation on nitrates and the report notes nitrogen levels are worsening at more river sites than improving. However, 99 per cent of total river length was estimated not to have nitrate-nitrogen concentrations high enough to affect the growth of sensitive freshwater species.

“This is cause for optimism and underlines that we need to concentrate on hotspots and lengths of river where there are significantly decreasing trends,” Mr Allen said. “In fact, farmers are doing this. Significant investment is happening in nutrient budgeting, riparian fencing and environmental projects which are having a positive outcome on water quality.

But much of this is not reflected in this report due to river and groundwater system lag times.”

Federated Farmers welcomed a focus on freshwater species in the report, which notes that of 39 native fish species, 28 are threatened or at risk of extinction. The number of non-native fish species has increased from 12 in the 1930s to 21 in 2010. The report says pest species pose a major threat to fresh water biodiversity.

“Whether we are talking about impacts from towns and townships, or farming, forestry or fishing, or pest animals destroying native wild life in the bush and rivers, we are all in this together and achieving sustainable results both environmentally and economically will only be achieved with all members of the community, including farmers, working towards achieving outcomes catchment by catchment,” Mr Allen said.

So the fish that live in the waterway are responsible for making it dirty. ??You really have to wonder about these outfits. Who do they think they are fooling?

Rivers aren’t pure water. ?What we need is rivers that are clean in the sense that they are natural. ?And that includes trout poo, fish scales, soil, leaves, bugs and God knows what else.



– Hawkes Bay Today