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Boaties urged to keep hulls clean

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/10/2016

Boaties planning to visit Bay of Plenty waters are being urged to keep the hulls of their vessels clean to avoid bringing in unwanted hitch-hikers.

Regional council staff and contractors are expecting to check up to 2000 boat hulls this summer to stop the spread of marine pests.

Council biosecurity Officer Hamish Lass says there's a real risk of pests being introduced to Tauranga Harbour by recreational boats that have travelled from infested waters like Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.

If any pest-infested hulls are found, the boat owners will be asked to haul them out and have them cleaned.

Mr Lass says local boaties can help protect the region's harbours by keeping their moored boat hulls clean and anti-fouled.

"A harbour full of clean hulls will slow the spread of pests, if they do manage to hitch a ride on a visiting boat," he said.

In the past three years, marine pests have been detected and removed from the hulls of 11 recreational boats in Tauranga Harbour.

The boats had all come from Auckland or Northland and hadn't been cleaned beforehand.

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