Fiordland Marine Regional Pathway Management Plan
With its breathtaking scenery and pristine waters, Fiordland is one of New Zealand's most unique and nationally significant areas - ecologically and economically. It is vital we protect it.
If you are heading into the waters of Fiordland, please be aware of the rules in place to prevent the further spread of the highly invasive pest seaweed Undaria pinnatifida. You may still access the area. However, there are some requirements when leaving an Undaria Exemption Area and key things that you can do to help.
One of the biggest risks to the Fiordland Marine Area is the arrival, establishment and subsequent impact of marine pests. Undaria is present within the Te Puaitaha / Breaksea Sound and Tamatea / Dusky Sound complex, and it is vital we do what we can to slow its spread.
Except for Undaria, the Fiordland Marine Area has none of the highly invasive marine pests found elsewhere in New Zealand. Examples include the Mediterranean Fanworm and the invasive seaweed, Caulerpa, present in waters at Aotea / Great Barrier Island, Ahuahu / Great Mercury Island, and recently discovered at Te Pēwhairangi / Bay of Islands. Experience from the Fiordland Undaria control programme demonstrates how much easier it is to keep marine pests out of Fiordland than to deal with them once they arrive.
The Fiordland Marine Regional Pathway Management Plan (2017) is Southland’s response to managing the risk of new marine pests being brought into the Fiordland Marine Area. This regional pathways plan was the first of its kind in New Zealand and is key in protecting and securing the future of this precious area.
The Plan aims to greatly reduce the risk of marine pests being carried in on local and visiting vessels.
It has been developed and is implemented by a partnership group including Environment Southland, Fiordland Marine Guardians, Ministry for Primary Industries, Department of Conservation and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.
The plan sets out several rules and standards that must be met by all vessels entering within one nautical mile of the landward boundary of the Fiordland Marine Area and requires vessel operators to obtain a Fiordland Clean Vessel Pass.
Note: All vessels, regardless of size, operating within the Fiordland Marine Area must hold a Fiordland Clean Vessel Pass.
This brochure will provide a quick overview of the rules: Fiordland Marine Regional Pathway Management Plan Brochure
Or read the full plan here: Fiordland Marine Regional Pathway Management Plan
What are the rules?
The Fiordland Marine Pathway Plan sets out rules which apply to all vessels entering within one nautical mile of the landward boundary of the Fiordland Marine Area.
All vessels entering and operating within the Fiordland Marine Area must hold a Clean Vessel Pass. Obtaining the pass includes agreeing to abide by the following standards:
The hull and niche areas have no more than a slime layer and goose barnacles.
Note: Out-of-water cleaning is the preferred technique to achieve the clean hull standard.
All marine gear and equipment on the vessel (including any equipment to establish new moorings) are visibly clean, free of fouling, free of sediment and preferably dry.
For cleaning guidance, see the brochure below:
All onboard residual seawater has been treated or is visibly clean and free of sediment.
The owner or person in charge of a vessel entering the area to which the plan applies must keep records of the actions taken to meet the clean hull, clean gear and residual water standards and provide those records to an authorised person on request.
A Clean Vessel Pass applies to a vessel, not an individual skipper, so individual skippers do not need to apply. However, they will need to be aware of the rules when they operate a vessel in the Fiordland Marine Area and ensure they are meeting the standards.
Yes. Even if your vessel operates continually in the Fiordland Marine Area, a Clean Vessel Pass is required, and the standards must be met.
Do I need a pass if I am bringing a boat by trailer, or some other means, into the Fiordland Marine Area rather than via the coast?
Yes. Regardless of how your vessel is brought to the Fiordland Marine Area, a Clean Vessel Pass is required, and the standards must be met.
The pass will be valid for 12 months and as many trips as you make during that time. The clean hull, clean gear and residual seawater standards do need to be adhered to on each and every trip.
There is no cost for a Clean Vessel Pass.
Your information will be stored in Environment Southland's database so that we can remind you when your pass needs to be renewed. From time to time, we may also use your contact details to send you specific information about the Fiordland Marine Area or the Fiordland Marine Pathway Plan (e.g. if there is an increased risk from a particular marine pest). The information will also help provide us with a clearer picture of the types of vessels entering the Fiordland Marine Area, when and where they are coming from.
What if I have to go into the Fiordland Marine Area unexpectedly due to an emergency and I don't have a Clean Vessel Pass?
The Fiordland Marine Regional Pathway Management Plan allows for entry into the area without a pass in the event of an emergency where life, health or serious damage to property is likely.
If you complete an online application, you will receive an emailed pass on the same day. A hard copy application will take up to two weeks to process.
You do not need to have the hull of your vessel specially cleaned to obtain a Clean Vessel Pass. If your vessel does not meet the clean vessel standards before departure, you are required to take action to ensure your vessel will meet the standards, e.g. if fouling on the hull is more than a slime layer and goose barnacles, you will need to clean your hull to meet the standard on entry to the Fiordland Marine Area.
There is no fine. However, vessels without a Clean Vessel Pass are in breach of the Fiordland Marine Regional Pathway Management Plan and are subject to inspection by authorised divers. This cost will be recovered from the vessel owner/operator.