Public eeling not tolerated by Auckland Council

By Paul Harper

An eel trap was recently found at Western Springs. Photo / Supplied
An eel trap was recently found at Western Springs. Photo / Supplied

The Auckland Council says it will not tolerate people eeling in public parks after an eel trap was recently found at Western Springs.

Western Springs Lakeside Park, also known by its customary Maori name, Te Wai Orea meaning 'Waters of the Eel', is home to both native eel species - the shortfin (Anguilla australis) and longfin (Anguilla dieffenbachii), which flourished prior to European settlement.

Local and sports park manager, Mark Bowater, said eeling and trapping eels in parks is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

"We must protect our native flora and fauna, especially these eel species which have cultural and historical significance," Bowater said.

"Our eels mature into adults in freshwater lakes and streams, and migrate to the sea to breed. Most take 20-30 years to mature, but some females are over 80 years old before they travel through available waterways and across damp ground to the sea."

Fishing is not permitted in Western Springs, and under council's bylaw and the Reserves Ac, it is illegal to kill or injure any animal in a public place or take or willfully destroy any animal.

- heraldonline.co.nz

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