Early evidence reported by the teams surveying boats at anchor in Northland is that around 85% of boats, both local and visiting the region, are free of marine pests.
It confirms a steady increase in the number of vessels ensuring their boat’s hulls are clean and free of marine pests
“It shows that most of our boatyards and haulouts not only in Northland but in regions where visiting vessels originate are doing a great job of cleaning,” Kathryn Lister of Northland Regional Council. “Boat owners are also to be credited and thanked for understanding the need to complete this maintenance before they arrive.”
Kathryn says this is in large part due to work done in the regions, including Auckland and Bay of Plenty in both education and surveillance. For example, Auckland Council run a summer Outreach programme that sees friendly ambassadors at marinas and busy boat ramps, raising awareness with boaties and the public on marine biosecurity.
Rules were introduced to Northland in 2010 to help ensure that marine pests could not be transferred to pristine places on moving vessels. Since then, the councils involved in the marine biosecurity partnership have worked hard to educate and inform boaties about marine pests, the harm they can do, and the need to check and clean boats.
Many thousands of boats visit Northland each summer, many from Auckland. Some marine pests are prevalent in Auckland, but are not present in the majority of Northland’s harbours. Boats entering Northland or moving between the regions different harbours can have no more than a slime layer and small patches of visible fouling, according to the region’s biofouling rules.