Biosecurity Update

You may have read in the local press and our marinas newsletter recently, about our current focus on biosecurity issues around our marinas. Mediterranean Fan Worm is a marine pest which is not native to New Zealand waters, and is already well established in parts of the north island including many parts of the Waitemata Harbour, Waiheke Island and the inner Hauraki Gulf, in marinas as well as parts of Whangarei Harbour.

Recently, Mediterranean Fanworm was detected on a vessel in Waikawa Marina. Small incursions, if identified early can be contained, however, we need to prevent Mediterranean Fan Worm becoming established.

What does Marlborough Sounds Marinas do?

In the last two years, we have been working closely with the Marlborough District Council’s biosecurity team to prevent these marine pests coming into our marinas and to the Marlborough Sounds.

Visiting vessels and new tenants with vessels coming from Tauranga and further north, are screened by us and required to produce evidence of either :

  • Having antifouled hull within the last six months
  • Having had a lift and wash within the last month

Our marinas infrastructure receives thorough surveillance as part of Council’s biosecurity programme twice a year for marine pests, and additional spot checks twice a year as part of MPI’s national surveillance programme.
The wash down facility at our travel lift and hardstand at Waikawa Marina was approved last year as a decontamination area by MPI.

In the light of the recent incursions, we have reviewed our procedures and broadened our screening. Initially we required information on Port of Origin. We will now check any areas visited in the last 12 months to assess any potential risk before arrival.

What can berth holders do to help stop the spread?

There are a few things you can do to assist us in protecting our beautiful bays and harbours:

  • Lift and wash your vessel after a short-stay in a high risk or contaminated area
  • Keep your hull clean (right down to the bottom of and under the keel). A clean hull is less likely to attract an unwanted hitchhiker.
  • Regularly antifoul your vessel
  • Talk to marina staff about bringing a new vessel into your berth from outside of the region.
  • Have you seen or are you aware of a fouled vessel in our marinas? Let your marinas staff know.
  • If you think you have seen a marine pest or a fouled vessel that has recently arrived, report your sighting to

To assist with the above, we are offering to all marina berth holders a 20% discount on lift and wash on their vessel at Waikawa Marina, from today to the 30th July (conditions apply) Please call the Waikawa Marina office for bookings, on 03 5203395.

A free workshop is also organised on Sunday 26th May on how to keep your hull clean. This is organised in conjunction with the Top Of the South Marine Biosecurity Partnership, and Carboline NZ. Join us at the Waikawa Marina hardstand from 1pm.

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