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Pest passenger a wakeup call for boaties

Marlborough District Council’s Biosecurity Team, working with Marlborough Marinas, recently responded to the worst case of Mediterranean fanworm seen to date on a vessel in Marlborough. The yacht had recently sailed from Auckland and moored at Waikawa Marina.

The pest was immediately destroyed but significant follow-up surveillance work will be needed in areas where the boat had travelled. Biosecurity Manager Jono Underwood says Mediterranean fanworm is a serious threat to Marlborough’s coastal waters and aquaculture industry.

“Vessel owners and operators need to play their part, know the rules, and keep their vessels clean, especially when moving around.”

“Everyone needs to be especially vigilant moving boats from northern hubs such as Auckland and Whangarei, where the fanworm is well-established and can easily establish itself on to a vessel. If you’re moving something south, a lift and clean immediately prior to departure is your best chance of avoiding an unwanted passenger.”

The owner was unaware of the fouling, which was probably smaller in size when the vessel came south six months ago.

Further information is available at https://www.marlborough.govt.nz/environment/biosecurity/a-z-of-pests/mediterranean-fanworm-rpmp-2018/?ed-step=1

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