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Protect our waters from pests

very dirty boat hull

Keeping boat hulls clean is the best way to protect Hawke’s Bay waters from unwanted pests.

 More boats come through Hawke’s Bay waters in summer to enjoy our marine environment says Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Biosecurity Team Leader Alice McNatty.

 “We want to keep our waters protected and are asking boaties to give us a hand. Some of the worst pests we don’t won’t here are the Mediterranean fanworm and Clubbed tunicate because they form dense colonies, which can make it hard for marine biodiversity to survive,” says Alice. “They’re often spread on boat hulls, which is why we’re asking people to make sure they’ve got clean hulls.”

 The Hawke’s Bay Regional Pest Management Plan has a ‘clean hull’ rule, which means that vessels entering Hawke’s Bay regional waters must have a sufficiently cleaned and anti-fouled hull so there is no more than a no slime layer and/or goose barnacles.

 “We’ve seen people sticking to the clean hull rule which has been great, but the big push is for people returning or coming in from out of the region because they pose the biggest risk. We do random hull checks throughout the year, helping us to check people are following the rules,” says Alice.

 “Everyone plays their part in marine biosecurity and keeping our waters safe. Preventing pests coming in here is way easier than trying to get rid of them.”

 If anyone thinks they have seen one of these creatures on a boat or structure, they can contact Alice McNatty at the Regional Council on 0800 108 838 with details and photos. Find out more about marine pests and what we are doing to keep them out of our waters.

5 January 2021

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