Il­le­gal sale of wa­ter weed sparks alert

Midwest Times - - NEWS -

Mid West gar­den­ers are be­ing asked to be on the look­out for the sale of il­le­gal wa­ter weeds af­ter salvinia was re­ported be­ing sold at WA mar­kets and on­line re­cently.

The Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment is­sued the re­minder af­ter re­ceiv­ing re­ports the weeds were be­ing sold as pond plants and were also sighted in a dam and front gar­den.

The re­ports re­late to in­ci­dents in the south of the State, but agri­cul­ture and food biose­cu­rity of­fi­cer Glen Coupar said salvinia and other de­clared wa­ter weeds posed a sig­nif­i­cant threat to the agri­cul­ture and food sec­tor as well as the en­vi­ron­ment, prompt­ing a re­minder to all in WA.

“Salvinia mul­ti­plies very quickly and forms a dense mat that cov­ers lakes, slow-mov­ing rivers, dams and other wa­ter­ways,” he said. “The wa­ter weed threat­ens agri­cul­ture by block­ing ir­ri­ga­tion chan­nels and pre­vent­ing stock from get­ting ac­cess to fresh wa­ter from dams, and it de­oxy­genates wa­ter by pre­vent­ing light and oxy­gen from en­ter­ing the wa­ter.”

Be­cause of the ease and speed with which salvinia spreads, it is not al­lowed to be sold or moved.

Peo­ple can use the depart­ment’s MyWeedWatcher app to iden­tify the weed. Re­ports can also be made by email­ing or con­tact­ing 1800 084 881.

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