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Clean boat hulls prevent spread of marine pests

Heading into summer, Council reminds boat owners to keep their hulls clean to ensure harmful marine pests don’t enter our port.

Council’s Regional Pest Management Plan allows for no more than a ‘slime layer’ on the hull of a vessel and recommends antifouling every 1-2 years.

Boat owners should pay close attention to hidden areas which could contain contaminants from other ports.

Marine pests disrupt the natural biodiversity of the ecosystem and can pose a huge risk to native flora and fauna. Pests such as Mediterranean fanworm form dense colonies, disrupt native wildlife and look unsightly.

Together with Eastland Port, Council’s biosecurity team works hard on monitoring and education to keep our harbour pest-free.

Biosecurity divers will be in Gisborne later this summer to complete a survey of marine pests at the port.

Biosecurity team leader Phil Karaitiana recommends local boat owners check the rules for other regions before travelling there.

“It is a good idea to submit antifouling documentation before arriving. This will avoid travel delays or the risk of being turned away at a port,” he says.

“If you see anything suspicious or suspect you have found a marine pest, don’t attempt to remove it yourself but instead record the locations, take a photo and let Council’s biosecurity team know immediately.”

Gisborne district biosecurity requirements and additional information is available on our website

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