Maritime New Zealand rules prohibit the disposal of most types of rubbish at sea unless explicitly permitted. Only some garbage, like food waste, may be disposed of. All other rubbish – for example, bottles, cans, cooking oil, and ropes – can no longer be dumped in the sea. Even water containing additives such as cleaning agents, that are harmful to the marine environment, cannot be discharged.
It is the responsibility of all boat owners and operators, regardless of the size of vessel, to ensure all garbage and contaminated water is contained and appropriately disposed of on land. For most boaties, following the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" principle is good practice.
More information, including stickers outlining the rules relating to the disposal of garbage, is available from the Maritime New Zealand website www.maritimenz.govt.nz
A rubbish barge service is operated in the Bay of Islands during the busy boating season usually from around Boxing Day to mid-January. Dates, times and the location of the barge will be broadcast by Russell Radio each day.