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Biofouling Fight Protecting Unique New Zealand Environment And Economy

Cruise ships visiting New Zealand this summer are doing a good job of meeting our strong biofouling standards and protecting our unique marine environment, says Biosecurity New Zealand Deputy Director-General Stuart Anderson.

“This season to date, only one of the 54 cruise vessels expected to arrive here for approximately 1100 port visits has not entered New Zealand waters because it was unable to meet our biofouling standards, which are vital for protecting our marine ecosystems and economy,” Mr Anderson says.

“Three other non-compliant vessels had restricted itineraries and were subject to further education.”

Mr Anderson says the four non-compliant vessels this summer compares to 11 for the 2022/23 cruise season, when a smaller number of ships and port visits took place.

“The drop in biofouling issues is a good result when you consider there’s been an increase of about 25 per cent in vessels arriving this season,” Mr Anderson says.

“Biosecurity New Zealand has worked closely with cruise companies to help them understand and meet our biofouling rules, which are among the strongest in the world for good reason – they ensure visitors and New Zealanders will enjoy our special marine areas, such as Fiordland, for generations to come.

“We’ve had some new cruise providers arrive in New Zealand this year and they’ve adapted well to meeting our requirements.

“I want to thank the cruise industry for their efforts to combat biofouling as it continues to be a major biosecurity threat. We know that almost 90 per cent of the exotic marine species already in New Zealand likely arrived here as marine growth on the submerged surfaces of international vessels.”

Mr Anderson says Biosecurity New Zealand will review the season when it finishes in April and adjust where required.

“We’re committed to protecting New Zealand from pests and disease to protect our vital primary sectors, economy, and unique areas for future generations.”

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