Introduction

The Department of Conservation says it is concerned by unsubstantiated claims from a freshwater fishing lobby group that anglers are at risk from 1080 poisoning.

Date:  18 February 2014

The Department of Conservation says it is concerned by unsubstantiated claims from a freshwater fishing lobby group that anglers are at risk from 1080 poisoning.

The Federation of Freshwater Anglers yesterday released a media statement warning anglers not to eat trout and eels “because of a risk of 1080 poison in the fish.”

DOC Deputy Director General Kevin O’Connor says the environmental impacts of 1080 have been widely researched and the group’s claims run completely counter to the accepted scientific evidence.[1]

Kevin O’Connor says published scientific papers show that 1080 operations pose little risk to either freshwater fish or anglers and the Environmental Protection Authority recently confirmed that water quality remains unaffected by the use of 1080.

“The active ingredient in 1080 is a naturally occurring substance – it rapidly dilutes to low concentrations in water and breaks down into harmless substances.

"Animals which consume low quantities of 1080, also break the toxin down naturally within their own bodies and excrete the by-products.”

Kevin O’Connor says Niwa and Landcare Research studies show that eels and freshwater crayfish which were deliberately fed 1080 only absorbed low concentrations of the toxin and posed little risk to humans.

“It is unfortunate that the Federation of Freshwater Anglers didn’t check the widely available scientific literature before making such alarming statements.”

References

[1] Fisher, P. (2008), Brief of Evidence to the Waitangi Tribunal (Wai 903), Landcare Research. Summary of effects on non-target aquatic animals. p 4.

Contact

Rory Newsam, Media Advice Manager
+64 4 471 3104 or +64 27 295 3809

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