Biosecurity New Zealand is urging people who work and play in and around the Waikato River to keep a lookout for a new clam species that has been found at Bob’s Landing near Lake Karāpiro. The freshwater gold clam or Asian clam, is new to NZ and native to eastern Asia but is widely established in the US, South America and Europe. The shellfish are a pest that reproduces rapidly and clogs up water infrastructure such as hydroelectricity plants, municipal water supply and irrigation systems. They also pose a threat to native species, as they consume a lot of plankton. Biosecurity New Zealand deputy director general Stuart Anderson says overseas it has proven difficult to control and with no documented successful eradication. Described as dirty white to yellow or tan …the adult ones are two to three centimeters across and can be found within the water, sitting on top of sandy or muddy surfaces, or buried shallowly. Stuart Anderson says there are no New Zealand species that look like this in the river. If you spot the freshwater gold clam simply note the location and take a photo then Free phone Biosecurity NZ 0800 80 99 66.
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