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See the marine pest specialists at NZ Boat Show

by Zoe Hawkins 16 May 2019 20:29 PDT 17 May 2019
Marine Pests - Large fan worm on hull © Auckland Council

Becoming familiar with marine pests is a great way to contribute to protecting our coastlines and the Marine Biosecurity team from Auckland Council are very keen to help.

“Understanding how to identify marine pests, and how to prevent them from hitchhiking on your boat – whether a game fishing launch, a cruising yacht or a trailer boat, it is important to help defend our coastline,” says Samantha Happy, Senior Marine Biosecurity Advisor for Auckland Council.

The Auckland Council team works closely with its counterparts in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay to help boaties get a handle on this critical issue.

“A large chunk of New Zealand’s boating population is in the upper part of the North Island,” Happy notes. “They are travelling constantly between regions and run the risk of infecting pristine areas with pests hitch hiking e on their hulls, underwater fittings, in bilge water and on equipment.”

Great Barrier Island is one such location still relatively free of marine pests, with an active marine biosecurity programme to help protect Auckland’s crown jewel. Boat hulls and structures including wharves and pontoons are regularly checked for the presence of marine pests.

The four councils teamed up several years ago to bring the ‘Clean Below, Good to Go’ message to boaties, encouraging the practice of cleaning vessels before moving to a new harbour or waterbody.

“It’s evident boaties are trying. When we do surveys we are noticing cleaner hulls, and it’s clear people are concerned about our marine environment,” Samantha says.

“Now we’d love the boating community to help further by reporting sightings of marine pests.”

Look out for the team at stand 434 at the Hutchwilco Auckland Boat Show from 16-19 May at ASB Showgrounds. There will be marine pest information and a live tank display to help get your eye in for the nastiess.

For more information:

www.marinepests.nz

www.marinebiosecurity.org.nz

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