A proposal for a plan which will help protect Fiordland from marine pests was publicly notified on Saturday 9 April and the public now have the opportunity provide feedback.
The Fiordland Marine Pathway Plan is the first of its kind to be developed in New Zealand and aims to reduce the risk of marine pests being carried in on local and visiting vessels.
Biosecurity manager Richard Bowman said Fiordland is one of New Zealand’s most unique and nationally significant areas and it is vital we protect it.
“Having a plan in place to prevent marine pests from making it into the Fiordland Marine Area is a huge step towards securing Fiordland’s future, both ecologically and economically.”
The plan incorporates rules for clean vessels, clean gear and residual seawater which will apply to vessels of all sizes entering the area. It also includes a Fiordland Clean Vessel Pass which will ensure vessel owners/operators are aware of the risks and the ways they can minimise them.
The Fiordland Marine Pathway Plan has been developed and will be implemented by a partnership group including Environment Southland, Fiordland Marine Guardians, Ministry for Primary Industries, Department of Conservation and Ngāi Tahu.
Fiordland Marine Guardians spokesperson Rebecca McLeod said, “the Guardians regard marine pests as one of the main threats to the Fiordland Marine Area so it is fantastic that Environment Southland taking such a proactive approach to protect this precious place. We strongly encourage the community to engage in the consultation process."
A summary document outlining the Proposal for a Fiordland Marine Pathway Plan and the full proposal can be read online at www.es.govt.nz or phone 0800 76 88 45 to have a copy sent to you. Submissions can be made online or in writing.