Locally, regionally and nationally, the quest to prevent the spread of marine pests continues. Consultation in 2019 showed widespread support for more action to control marine pests and demand for a simple and consistent approach that is easier to understand and implement across regions. Northland Regional Council, Auckland Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Waikato Regional Council, with support from the Ministry for Primary Industries and Department of Conservation, are progressing work to create an inter-regional approach that will reduce the spread of marine pests on vessels.
We now expect that formal consultation will take place in the second half of 2021, and we will keep you posted as it gets closer. Our colleagues at MPI are also working with industry to develop best practice guidance for hull cleaning and antifouling.
Dylan Lease, manager at Tutukaka at Northland, is proud that his marina is pristine. A former ‘Best Environmental Performer’ winner at the New Zealand Marina Awards, the marina is known for going the extra mile when it comes to minimising the impact of its operations.
Therefore he is diligent about ensuring that all vessels entering the marina are free of marine pests – even the working barges travelling to are required to be cleaned and checked before they enter the marina, and to meet Northland Regional Council’s rules too.
“We are so proud that we have kept Mediterranean fanworm out of Tutukaka Marina for this long. It has been a battle and commercial boats must follow the same clean hull requirements as recreational boats do,” says Dylan.
Divers from Northland to Gisborne are checking for marine pests this summer in order to prevent the spread of marine pests. An underwater survey the waters around Aotea Great Barrier Island (pictured below) has just been completed.
Late in 2019 we interviewed Grant Brown from Sandspit Marina about his quest to keep the marina, built in 2016, free of Mediterranean Fanworm.
“I was proud of the fact we were fanworm free,” he says. “We were totally focused on monitoring and eradicating fanworm, but time and conditions have beaten us, and it is now living in the seabed here at Sandspit Marina.”
“In the early days, I was conscious of what was going on in Kawau, especially Bon Accord Harbour, which was infested. We felt this meant it was only a matter of time before it found its way here - whether by boat or of its own natural accord,” he says.