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Marine Issues Presentation For Boaties

Date: 24 September, 2008

Marine Issues Presentation For Boaties

The summer boating season is fast approaching and the Northland Regional Council is keen to talk to boaties about some important issues involving the management of Northland’s coastal waters.

The Council is inviting local boat, yacht and fishing clubs and any other interested groups or individuals to a presentation by Council staff on marine pests, sewage management - including proposed rule changes – and navigation and safety.

Regional Council Policy Analyst Justin Murfitt says staff members are keen to talk to as many people as possible about these and other relevant issues.

“This is an opportunity for boaties to discuss their concerns and learn about Council initiatives that may affect them,” says Mr Murfitt.

The presentation will look at the way boat sewage is managed in Northland and the effects of possible changes - already highlighted in a discussion paper released earlier this year - to the Regional Council’s Coastal Plan.

“Boat sewage can contain a range of viruses and other nasties and can be much more concentrated than sewage from land because it hasn’t been diluted by water from toilet cisterns or treated. It has been estimated that the untreated discharge from one weekend boater can put the same amount of bacterial pollution into a localised area of water as the treated sewage from thousands of people on land,” Mr Murfitt says.

“We want to get the message out there about the pollution caused by raw sewage being discharged into our coastal waters and about the Council’s ideas to better manage this.”

Mr Murfitt says marine pests are also a threat to our coast and the presentation will cover the ways boaties can help reduce their spread.

“Marine pests threaten species native to our waters as well as aquaculture. We hope to get the message across to more boaties that by checking, cleaning and drying their boat hulls we can prevent further spread of marine pests.”

Mr Murfitt says the Council is also keen to discuss a number of navigation and safety issues with Northland harbour users.

The Council aims to hold presentations in central locations in Whangarei, Whangaroa and the Bay of Islands before Christmas. Anyone interested in attending - or possibly hosting - a presentation should contact Justin Murfitt on freephone (0800) 002 004 or email justinm@nrc.govt.nz by Wednesday, 15 October.


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