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Dirty ship let back into NZ after a clean

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/03/2017

A ship ordered to leave New Zealand waters because it was deemed too dirty has been allowed to return after being cleaned outside the country.

The DL Marigold, which had arrived from Indonesia, was told to depart Tauranga on March 6 after dense fouling of barnacles and tube worms were found on the bulk carrier's hull.

It was later cleaned by divers at sea outside New Zealand waters.

The Ministry for Primary Industries says the vessel returned to Tauranga on Tuesday night to finish unloading a shipment of palm kernel.

MPI border clearance services capability manager Sharon Tohovaka says the ministry checked photos provided to it after the cleaning operation and before the vessel's arrival.

"We are now satisfied the ship is very clean and meets New Zealand's biosecurity requirements," she said.

She said the ministry wouldn't hesitate to take a hard line on vessels with severe biofouling in the lead-up to the introduction of new biosecurity rules in May 2018.

The new rules would require all international vessels to arrive with a clean hull and most vessels could achieve this by following International Maritime Organisation guidelines.

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