Recreational fishers call for a moratorium on harmful pesticides:

The peak national representative body for recreational fishers, Recfish Australia, today called on the Australian Government for an immediate moratorium on the use of pesticides which can cause mortality in fish eggs and larvae.

The call comes today in the wake of mounting evidence of fish deformities and mortalities at an Australian bass hatchery in the Noosa River Catchment in southern Queensland where it is alleged that chemical spraydrift from a neighbouring macadamia nut plantation contaminated the water in breeding ponds.

The chemicals responsible include one known as Carbendazim which has been the subject of review of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for the past two years. “We are asking the APVMA about the progress of their review which began in 2007.” Said Len Olyott, CEO of Recfish Australia. “Obviously if the APVMA are worried about its use, then there is something worth worrying about.”

The European Union (EU) has classified Carbendazim as a potential genotoxic chemical which can cause mutations and affect reproductive organs and the US EPA has classified both Carbendazim and thiophanate-methyl as probable human carcinogens.
Recfish Australia are calling on the APVMA to place an immediate moratorium on all three chemicals implicated in larval toxicity until further testing establishes safety or toxicity on fish larvae and reproductive organs. “We are not anti farming; we just want to look at the possible impacts and then identify safer alternatives to these pesticides. We would like to work with the farms to minimise their impacts and at the same time ensure healthier waterways.”

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