Scores of whitebaiters yesterday took to their kayaks in a floating hikoi to protest over Tukituki River pollutants they say are destroying the river’s whitebait fishery.

Protestors paddled from Central Hawke’s Bay’s Tamumu bridge, to the river’s mouth at Haumoana, stopping only for regular didymo checks.

The participants (pictured near Patangata Bridge), many of whom were self-flagellating with scoop nets to “appease Tangaroa” (Maori god of the sea and progenitor of fish) said the river’s substandard water quality was affecting a much loved Kiwi recreational tradition.

“I’m still eating the things, but hell, the romance goes out the expelair when you’re eating something that’s already travelled the s-bend,” one protestor told us.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council referred BayBuzz to DOC and/or Fish & Game for comment on the Tukituki, but did say they hoped to be fully regional by 2013.

Mark

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