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.