Thanks to an ongoing program of surveillance and control, and a dive team that spends more than 5,000 hours in the water each year, Bay of Plenty is one of the regions still largely untouched by marine pests like Mediterranean fanworm.
As part of the ongoing Tauranga Moana harbour surveillance, a large number of juvenile Mediterranean fanworm (Sabella spallanzanii) were discovered by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council marine biosecurity team on the bottom of a boat on a swing mooring. All of the region’s harbours are currently free of permanent infestations of Mediterranean fanworm so its vitally important that any boats moving into the region’s waters have clean hulls. In this instance the boat was lifted out, scrapped down, treated and returned to the water.
Pictured above: Juvenile Mediterranean fanworm (left) found on a boat in Tauranga Harbour, and Mediterranean fanworm, if undetected, can grow quickly on a boat's hull
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council marine biosecurity team were recently announced as finalists for the NZ Biosecurity awards. The nomination highlights both the importance of the work that the team undertake and also the seriousness of which marine biosecurity threats are treated at a national level. The Biosecurity Awards winners will be announced in February 2022.
Carrying out more than 5,000 person hours of diving each year, the Bay of Plenty Marine Biosecurity team conduct widespread surveillance and control work for marine pests across the top of the North Island.
Additionally, inspections of all vessels either moored or anchored within Tauranga harbour and who have people living on-board or staying overnight recently commenced. Staff from the council Compliance and Maritime teams are approaching owners to ensure they comply with Rules CD16 ( Prohibited discharge of untreated sewage to the coastal marine area), SO5(a) and (b) (Permitted occupation of space by mooring or anchorage).
The message primarily is if you intend to live or stay on-board you must have a portable toilet and be able to satisfy us that you dispose of it appropriately. Designed to ensure they comply with the Navigational bi-laws for anchored vessels and the Bay of Plenty Regional Coastal Plan for living on-board or staying overnight.
Find out more about marine biosecurity initiatives in the Bay of Plenty Toi Moana Region: