The rapid reproductive ability and build-up of large populations of the clam poses a threat to hydroelectric power plants, water treatment plants, and water intake pipes. They can potentially compete with native species for food. Their invasive nature has been difficult to control and eradicate overseas.
“Properly cleaning gear is crucial to prevent the spread of pests like these in waterways,” says Alex.
“It’s important to follow MPI's check, clean, dry protocols when using gear in any waterway, especially for shellfish where treatments like heat treatment, freezing, disinfectants, and steam cleaning are recommended to kill organisms.
“If you think you've seen the clam, you should note the location, take a photo if possible, and contact Biosecurity New Zealand as soon as possible.”
Working with mana whenua, Waikato River Authority, Waikato Regional Council, Department of Conservation, Land Information New Zealand, and other organisations, Biosecurity New Zealand is now trying to determine more about the clams’ spread and explore potential future actions.