Our concerns over the silver and grass carp farm at Taupo is for the following reasons:
- Irrespective of the size of the risk we believe that an extremely precautious approach is required when considering rearing carp near Lake Taupo. DoC’s own fisheries review in 2012 estimated the value of the trout fishery to the Taupo region to be in the order of $100M p.a. It is an international destination for anglers and of historic angling reputation. Why do it here?
- The assurances that such fish could never escape and acclimatise in the Taupo/Waikato catchment has been heard before for brown bullhead catfish (from DoC), which are now established in Lake Taupo.
- Assurances that the Taupo/Waikato catchment is unsuited to the survival of grass and silver carp – “it is too cold”. However hot spots generated by warm geothermal streams, such as Tokaanu and Wairakei entering the lake may provide suitable spawning potential.
- Silver carp eat plant and animal plankton – Lake Taupo may not have enough to sustain them but there is sufficient plankton in the lake for the smelt to survive and the Waikato hydro lakes are awash with algae. Could the carp compete with the smelt for food and could this impinge on the principal diet of lake trout?
- The claim that there are no known instances of silver or grass carp acclimatising in NZ is correct as only triploid (sterile) carp have been introduced into waterways to date. However there is anecdotal evidence from several anglers catching grass carp in the Waikato.
- The risk of escapees during transportation. Live fish are transported from breeding ponds at Warkworth, north of Auckland, down to Taupo, then back up to Auckland for sale (still live) and “..other locations..” as specified by the applicant.
- “Asian” carp (Silver, grass, black and bighead carp) have become such a nuisance fish in USA that the government is spending substantial sums trying to eradicate them, and drafting the US army in for assistance in eradication attempts.
- SECRECY – DoC have not shared details of the application for carp farming and we understand resource consent applications will be minor NON-NOTIFIED, if needed at all. Without access to information how can we address our concerns?
All the press releases and media statements can be found HERE