Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Bay of Islands fanworm find sparks vigilance call

29 September, 2017

Bay of Islands fanworm find sparks vigilance call

Authorities are urging boaties – especially those from or visiting the Bay of Islands – to be extra vigilant for unwanted marine pests after the discovery of a vessel ‘heavily infested’ with dozens of mature Mediterranean fanworm.

Don McKenzie, Biosecurity Manager for the Northland Regional Council, says officials were alerted to the fanworm after a vessel which had been anchoring at Tapu Point and Matauwhi Bay in the Bay of Islands was slipped at Opua recently.

Mr McKenzie says local Bay of Islands boating clubs and marinas have been notified of the fanworm find and the regional council is considering enforcement action – including a $500 instant fine – over the incident.

“We’re also asking boaties – both locals and visitors alike – to be especially vigilant for fanworm and other unwanted marine pests.”

Ironically, the discovery comes as council contractors prepare to begin their annual Northland-wide hull inspection programme, with more than 2000 hulls expected to be checked over the next few months.

Mr McKenzie says at this stage the council understands the boat involved had been on a mooring at Tapu Point since early July this year and before that had been anchored at Matauwhi Bay.

Council records show the affected vessel was inspected in late 2015 at Otiao Bay (Urupukapuka Island) at which point it did have some hull fouling, but no marine pests were present.

He says the council is organising contractors to survey the mooring area and seafloor where the vessel has been as soon as possible, and given the fanworm discovery, will now also start this year’s wider hull inspection programme there.

He says during the 2015-2016 survey season, six vessels were recorded with fanworm in Matauwhi Bay.

“We did a follow up survey of Matauwhi Bay in late July this year which checked the reef, structures, moorings and adjacent hardstand area where incidents had been recorded, but no fanworm was found.”

Mr McKenzie says pests don’t discriminate when infesting vessels and last season council contractors had checked the hulls of about 1700 vessels covering everything from recreational boats, superyachts and fishing vessels to barges.

He says unfortunately, despite the collective efforts of a range of Northlanders over a number of years, Mediterranean fanworm is now an established pest in Whangarei Harbour.

“No-one wants them spreading any further and with boat owners (both Northlanders and from other regions) now starting to plan their summer excursions, we want to ensure they’re vessels are clear of any marine pests before they move to new areas.”

Mr McKenzie says for some time now most Northland marinas have been requiring a receipt proving a vessel conforms to what’s been dubbed the ‘six or one’ initiative; being either antifouled within six months of leaving a known fanworm-infected area or having undergone a ‘lift and wash’ within one month of leaving an infected area like Auckland.

However, he warns pests can still be concealed in ‘niche areas’ and be missed during antifouling or cleaning.

“Council strongly suggests double-checking areas these niche area; places like the base of the keel, behind anodes, live bait tanks and the bow thrusters before vessels go back in the water.”

Depending on the pests found, owners will be told to haul the vessels out and clean or treat them in what can potentially be a costly process. A $500 fine may also apply. More information on marine pests can be found at www.nrc.govt.nz/pestcontrolhub while the council’s rules and marina requirements can be found at www.marinepests.co.nz

Meanwhile, Mr McKenzie says regional council staff will also be back out on the water again over summer, talking with vessel owners and making sure they’re aware of Northland’s marine biosecurity and pollution rules.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Declaring Premature Victory

Sure enough, Saturday’s Vaxathon was a barrel of fun and a throwback not merely to the Telethons of the past. It also revived memories of those distant days of early 2020, when we were all carefully wiping down our groceries, not touching our faces, washing our hands for 20 seconds and responding to level four lockdowns by putting teddy bears in the window for the benefit of the little kids walking by in their family bubbles. Those were the days, when the Team of Five Million felt like a real, organic thing... More>>

RNZ: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces Cabinet decision on Covid-19 alert levels

Northland will move to level 2 at 11.59pm on 19 October. Waikato will be held at level 3, to be reviewed on Friday. Auckland will remain in level 3 with current restrictions for another two weeks... More>>



Government: Red Tape Cut To Boost Housing Supply
First home buyers are set to benefit from changes to planning rules being advanced by the Government and the National Party that will enable more medium density housing and cut red tape that acts as a barrier to development... More>>


Economy: Inflation highest in over a decade
The consumers price index rose 2.2 percent in the September 2021 quarter, the biggest quarterly movement since a 2.3 percent rise in the December 2010 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Excluding quarters impacted by increases to GST rates, the September quarter movement was the highest since the June 1987 quarter... More>>


Government: New Zealand Increases Climate Aid Contribution

The Government is making a four-fold increase in the support it provides to countries most vulnerable to the climate emergency, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>

Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>

Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>




InfoPages News Channels