Essential Elements … Biosecurity

Focus on…Biosecurity

Over summer the NIWA and Top-of-the-South Marine Biosecurity Partnership dive crews were here investigating the threat of marine pests in the region.

The Styela Clava (more commonly known as “sea squirt”) and Mediterranean Fan Worm are a threat to our marine environment due to their competing with native species for food and space. They can also make a real mess of your hull and fishing equipment as well as our marina structures!

Marine pests can overrun natural ecosystems, displace native species, harm the fishing, marine farming, transport and tourism industries and even, in extreme cases, affect human health.Untitled design (3)

If you own a vessel that is permanently moored in the water such as, a recreational or commercial vessel, you have a role to play in preventing the spread of Styela clava and marine pests like it. Research shows marine pests are able to move from location to location by establishing themselves as part of fouling on vessel hulls or as larvae in seawater retained in vessels.

The Ministry for Primary Industries and regional councils are responsible for marine biosecurity, but protecting New Zealand is not just government’s job. As a boatie you can help prevent the spread of marine pests already in our waters. And, the more people we have keeping watch for anything that may be a new exotic pest, the greater our chances of detecting it early and managing it. The main action you can take is to ensure your “boat bottom” is clean with regular haul outs, and liberally applying antifouling paint to your hull.

The Waikawa Marina staff would be happy to assist you to book our travel lift for a lift and waterblast – or to book your vessel some time on our hard stand for maintenance. Please get in touch by contacting (03) 520 3395 or email on

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