Marine pest and pathway rules for Northland

Northland has specific rules for managing the spread of invasive marine species.

Northland’s clean hull rules

Under Northland rules, your hull should have no more than a light fouling when you:

  • enter Northland or
  • move to another ‘designated place’ in Northland – that is, another harbour or popular offshore anchorage.

‘Light fouling’ means no more than small patches (up to 100mm in diameter) of visible fouling, totalling less than 5% of the hull and niche areas. A slime layer and/or barnacles are ok.

You can read the full rules and see the designated places in Section 10.1 of the Northland Regional Pest and Marine Pathway Management Plan.

Why have these rules?

A clean hull prevents marine pests from spreading into new places and infecting our vulnerable marine environment.

Northland Regional Council’s Marine Pathway Management Plan came into effect on 1 July 2018.

The aim of this plan is to prevent the introduction of new marine pests into Northland and to slow the spread of established marine pests within the region.

This is a new plan, in addition to our existing marine pest rules, which requires vessels to be clean when entering and moving around Northland.

How are the rules enforced?

We have a hull surveillance programme that inspects 2000 vessels each year. Any vessel carrying a marine pest may be placed under a legal notice and directed to make a plan to have the vessel hauled out and cleaned.

Under the new rules in the Marine Pathway Plan, vessels that have more than ‘light fouling’ will be issued a warning letter and advised to have the vessel cleaned if the owner plans to move out of, or into, a different designated place.  For example – moving a vessel with more than ‘light fouling’ from the Bay of Islands to Tutukaka Harbour.

Northland voluntary anti-foul declaration

Vessel owners can complete a ‘voluntary antifoul declaration form’ below.

Download the Northland Voluntary Anti-foul Declaration Form (PDF, 132KB)

Clean below? Good to go!

Before leaving an area, make sure your hull’s clean. The best way of doing this is to regularly anti-foul your vessel and/or regularly wipe the hull clean with a soft cloth that removes the slime layer if this is suitable for your anti-foul. Check the in-water cleaning rules for Northland. If your vessel is clean and free from marine pests, provide photos of the hull and niche areas such as bow thruster, intakes and the bottom of the keel and email them to marinebiosecurity@nrc.govt.nz or the relevant requestor (such as a marina). 

Marine pests

Northland Regional Council has a great resource, the Pest Control Hub , which can help you identify marine pests and the specific rules relating to marine pests.

If you find something you suspect is a marine pest, please take a photograph if possible and send it in to our Marine Biosecurity Team.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us: marinebiosecurity@nrc.govt.nz