Posted on 04/12/2020
Crime Stoppers South Australia wants your help to stop the illegal trade of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and salvinia (Salvinia spp). Both invasive weeds chokes wetlands and waterways, kills native wildlife and reduces opportunities for boating, fishing and swimming.
It is an offence to sell either weed types in SA, including online sales. If you know or suspect something about the illegal sale of water hyacinth and salvinia then we want you to tell us.
These floating weed varieties are most commonly found in backyard ponds because they are hardy and grow quick, but when they are dumped or allowed to spread into our waterways they pose serious harm to our native fish, plants and animals.
Salvinia spp and Water Hyacinth will block waterways and reduce water quality, which ultimately impacts on outdoor pleasures of South Australians who enjoy getting out into the great outdoors for boating, fishing and swimming. The only people who win are those who are illegally selling them in the first place,” he said.
People may not know that these floating weeds for sale at their local market or online are actually illegal to sell or trade so this campaign helps people to identify both varieties and encourages them to share what they know with Crime Stoppers, because stopping the trade is critical to minimising the devastating impact these weeds cause.
Raising community awareness and action is crucial to preventing the prohibited selling or swapping of these plants.
It may be that friends provide a cutting to you because it’s thrived in their own pond at home – but that’s all it takes to put our environment, economy and community at risk. It may not be an offence to have these weeds at home, but if they’re found on private property they can still be seized and destroyed by authorities.
As one of the world’s worst invasive aquatic plants, Water Hyacinth is a major pest of creeks, rivers and dams. Similarly, Salvinia spp. is a fern-like invasive aquatic weed that can choke waterways by floating on still or slow-moving water and covering the water surface with a thick mat of vegetation. This fast-growing weed shades out any submerged plant life and impedes oxygen exchange, making the water unsuitable for fish and other animals. Deliberately introduced into Australia around 1894 as an ornamental plant for garden ponds, and eventually discarded into waterways. Almost every infestation in southern Australia has resulted from deliberate planting or disposal of unwanted plants readily sourced from the aquatic trade.
Water Hyacinth is declared under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 throughout the whole of the State of South Australia. Its entry to South Australia, movement or transport on a public road by itself or as a contaminant, or sale by itself or as a contaminant, are prohibited. Notification of infestations is necessary to ensure these are destroyed. Landowners are required to destroy any water hyacinth plants growing on their properties.
It is illegal to move or sell Salvinia spp. in South Australia and a maximum fine of $50,000 can apply for those caught selling it. Native to Brazil, Salvinia spp. is declared under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 . When removed from a backyard pond Salvinia spp. can be destroyed by being placed in a plastic bag and left in the sun until completely broken down, then placed in the general waste bin (not with green garden waste).
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