Your en­joy­ment im­pacts the environment

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

New Zealand has one of the high­est lev­els of recre­ational boat­ing ac­tiv­ity in the world. At over 15,000 kilo­me­tres, we have the tenth long­est coast­line in the world to en­joy. Boat­ing con­tin­ues to in­crease in pop­u­lar­ity, mak­ing it vi­tal that boat­ies un­der­stand the po­ten­tial im­pact they can have on our unique marine environment, and are en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly in the way they oper­ate and main­tain their ves­sels. Pol­lu­tants can en­ter the ocean from a wide range of sources, in­clud­ing chem­i­cal, oil, fuel, and sewage dis­charges from recre­ational boats. As well, dirty boat hulls have the po­ten­tial to carry and spread of­ten- harm­ful marine pest species. In New Zealand, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties such as re­gional, district and city coun­cils al­ready reg­u­late pol­lu­tion dis­charges from in­dus­try and sewage through the Re­source Man­age­ment Act. It is timely to recog­nise the im­pacts of other pol­lu­tion sources such as agri­cul­tural runoff, fail­ing sep­tic tank sys­tems, com­mer­cial ship­ping, and recre­ational boat­ing, all of which can sig­nif­i­cantly con­trib­ute to the con­tam­i­na­tion of our in­land and coastal water­ways. MAF Bio se­cu­rity’s Clean Boat­ing Pro­gramme is part of an in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tive, whereby many marine re­lated busi­nesses and recre­ational boat­ies are par­tic­i­pat­ing in pro­grammes to im­prove their en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance. The Clean Boat­ing com­po­nent pro­vides in­di­vid­ual boat­ies with ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­ri­als to help them play their part. As a boat owner or op­er­a­tor, you want to en­joy healthy, safe and pris­tine wa­ters. For more com­pre­hen­sive in­for­ma­tion, fact sheets and links to other use­ful ma­te­rial, visit: www.clean­boat­ing.org.nz In the mean­time help stop the spread of marine pests. New Zealand’s sea life and marine environment are un­der threat from in­tro­duced marine pests. These an­i­mals and plants are gen­er­ally a harm­less part of the land­scape in their home lo­ca­tion, but once in­tro­duced to New Zealand wa­ters, can spread quickly and are of­ten dif­fi­cult and ex­pen­sive to con­trol. In a new environment, some marine or­gan­isms can cause ir­re­versible dam­age and they of­ten hitch­hike from lo­ca­tion to lo­ca­tion on dirty boat hulls. your boat and en­joy­ment dam­ag­ing the paint and hull in­creas­ing drag and fuel costs dam­ag­ing the coastal environment

set­ting up un­sightly pop­u­la­tions in the ar­eas you love and caus­ing en­gine over­heat­ing

harm­ing our unique marine bio­di­ver­sity

putting pres­sure on na­tive fish and shell­fish pop­u­la­tions by com­pet­ing for food, prey­ing on them and dam­ag­ing habi­tats

prompt­ing move­ment con­trols or fish­ing/boat­ing bans to con­trol spread

im­pact on marine farm­ing and com­mer­cial fish­ing While you’re out there, if you find a marine an­i­mal or plant that looks out of the or­di­nary, note its lo­ca­tion, grab a sam­ple if you can and call MAF Biose­cu­rity New Zealand on its freep­hone: 0800 80 99 66.

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