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Clean hull the way to go

very dirty boat hull

Heading into summer, the Regional Council is asking boaties to keep their hull clean to keep pests out of Hawke’s Bay waters.

With summer comes more boats coming through and more people enjoying our marine environment says Regional Council Senior Biosecurity Advisor Animal and Plant Pests Alice McNatty.

“It’s great to see people out on the water enjoying themselves, and we want to keep it that way. 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 new ‘clean hull’ rule. This rule states that an operator of a vessel entering Hawke’s Bay regional waters must ensure the hull is sufficiently cleaned and anti-fouled so that there is no more than a slime layer and/or goose barnacles.

“We’ve had a really positive response from the marine sector in trying to prevent marine pests from arriving in Hawke’s Bay and sticking to the ‘clean hull’ rule. For vessels coming into Hawke’s Bay from other regions, because they pose the biggest risk, we do random hull checks throughout the year,” 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.

Fanworm in water 2 credit NRC


Mediterranean fanworm (credit Nelson Regional Council).

Hull photo used with permission from Bay of Plenty Regional Council.


2 December 2019

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