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Invasion: Northland Preempt Marine Issues

NEW ZEALAND - As Northland's boating season approaches the local council has announce that it is keen to talk to boaties in order to preempt the danger of they may bring to the waters.

The Northland Regional Council is inviting local boat, yacht and fishing clubs and any other interested groups or individuals to a presentation by Council staff on marine pests and sewage management. They fear that aquaculture in the area may be affected by invasive species and pollution brought in by the boats.

"Marine pests threaten species native to our waters as well as aquaculture."
Regional Council Policy Analyst Justin Murfitt

Regional Council Policy Analyst Justin Murfitt says staff members are keen to talk to as many people as possible about these and other relevant issues.

The presentation will look at the way boat sewage is managed in Northland and the effects of possible changes - already highlighted in a discussion paper released earlier this year - to the Regional Council’s Coastal Plan.

“Boat sewage can contain a range of viruses and other nasties and can be much more concentrated than sewage from land because it hasn’t been diluted by water from toilet cisterns or treated. It has been estimated that the untreated discharge from one weekend boater can put the same amount of bacterial pollution into a localised area of water as the treated sewage from thousands of people on land,” Mr Murfitt says.

“Marine pests threaten species native to our waters as well as aquaculture. We hope to get the message across to more boaties that by checking, cleaning and drying their boat hulls we can prevent further spread of marine pests.”