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Published: 2016-09-08 00:00:00

Boaties are being urged to clean their hulls ahead of the upcoming summer boating season, which traditionally kicks off at Labour Weekend.

“A good clean, followed by safe disposal of what’s removed, helps ensure that marine pests don’t get spread around,” says Waikato Regional Council biosecurity officer Thomas Malcolm.

“That applies to both Waikato boaties and anyone who is thinking about coming into our region’s waters.

“We need to protect our patch. There are so many potentially devastating marine pests out there, such as Mediterranean fanworm, which ride on the bottom of boats.”

Thomas says such pests can be harmful to scallops, and mussels, and then affect fisheries, such as snapper and marine farms. Marine pest can also have a really bad affect the underwater environment for divers.

“Ideally, boaties should clean their vessel’s hull one month prior to heading anywhere. They should also apply an antifouling coat to the hull at least once every six months.”

For further advice contact Thomas on 0800 800 401.