Marine pests

Northland Regional Council needs your help to prevent marine pests reaching – and spreading within – Northland's waters.

Is your boat carrying unwanted hitchhikers?

Marine pests are a big threat to our region's waters. They can harm wild and farmed shellfish, smother native species and be a nuisance to boaties by fouling boat hulls, marinas and moorings. They also impact on activities like fishing, boating and diving.

These unwanted organisms typically spread by 'hitchhiking' on boats, marine equipment or in ship's ballast water.

Mediterranean fanworm

The discovery of Mediterranean fanworm – internationally recognised as a significant marine pest – in Northland has reinforced the importance of keeping boat hulls clean and regularly antifouled.

Mediterranean fanworm is a serious threat which forms dense colonies that out-compete native species. It also is a major nuisance fouling species in marinas and on boat hulls, getting into antifoul weak spots like the base of the keel, around prop housings and blocking cooling water intakes.

Help stop the spread – check, clean, antifoul

The single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of marine pests is to get your boat hull checked, cleaned and anti-fouled regularly.

Fanworm on boat hull and closeup (inset).


Report suspicious marine life

If you see suspicious marine life, note the location and get a photo if possible. Report it to either the Northland Regional Council's 24/7 Environmental Hotline on 0800 504 639 or the Ministry for Primary Industries on 0800 00 83 33 as soon as possible.

Prevent the spread of marine pests info graphic.