Thursday, June 13, 2024

Cruise ships on board with NZ biofouling standards

Biosecurity New Zealand says visiting cruise ships are doing a good job of meeting New Zealand’s strong biofouling standards.

Biosecurity New Zealand deputy director-general, Stuart Anderson said that to date this summer, just one of the 54 cruise vessels has failed to meet local biofouling standards, which are vital for protecting New Zealand’s marine ecosystems and economy.

“Three other non-compliant vessels had restricted itineraries and were subject to further education,” said Mr Anderson.

He says the four non-compliant vessels this summer compares to 11 for the 2022/23 cruise season, when a smaller number of ships and port visits took place.

“The drop in biofouling issues is a good result when you consider there’s been an increase of about 25% in vessels arriving this season.”

“Biosecurity New Zealand has worked closely with cruise companies to help them understand and meet our biofouling rules, which are among the strongest in the world for good reason – they ensure visitors and New Zealanders will enjoy our special marine areas, such as Fiordland, for generations to come.

“We’ve had some new cruise providers arrive in New Zealand this year and they’ve adapted well to meeting our requirements.

“I want to thank the cruise industry for their efforts to combat biofouling as it continues to be a major biosecurity threat. We know that almost 90% of the exotic marine species already in New Zealand likely arrived here as marine growth on the submerged surfaces of international vessels.”

Mr Anderson says Biosecurity New Zealand will review the season when it finishes in April and adjust where required.

“We’re committed to protecting New Zealand from pests and disease to protect our vital primary sectors, economy, and unique areas for future generations.”

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