Pro­tect­ing eels

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -


Re­cently in the tran­quil Pa­pakowhai Re­serve I no­ticed dainty slices of Vo­gel bread float­ing in the wa­ters of the la­goon.

I though it was kind of some­one to feed the eels un­til I spot­ted the gaffing tri­dent dug into the soil at the water’s edge. This feed­ing was re­peated for sev­eral days un­til the cal­lous van­dal grabbed them. Now there are no dim­ples on the water sur­face. The la­goon is still. So sad.

The eels were long finned, na­tive of New Zealand and pro­tected by law.

The short finned are Aus­tralian cousins who have to take their chances.

Both are very much en­dan­gered. They migrate to the oceans to mate, trav­el­ling over land and wa­ter­ways dan­ger­ously pol­luted, many never make it to the oceans.

It is a star­tling fact that they can still be fished com­mer­cially.

How are the long finned pro­tected? There is no ev­i­dence of any pro­tec­tion.

Our wa­ter­ways do not carry in­for­ma­tion ad­vis­ing us of the pre­car­i­ous sit­u­a­tion of these fish, or that they are pro­tected by law.

The parks, re­serves and their res­i­dent crea­tures be­long to us all.

No one has the right to kill and take them.

What is needed is for those man­ag­ing our nat­u­ral spa­ces for re­cre­ation and leisure, to take charge of this prob­lem in re­sponse to the law.

Na­tive boards would be the very first stop.

G M BROWN, Pare­mata.

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