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 a Controlled Area notice has been issued for an area of Breaksea Sound to prevent further spread of the Asian seaweed Undaria pinnatifida (Undaria). You may still access the area, however there are some restrictions in place for mooring, equipment and anchoring.

One of the biggest risks to this area is the impact of marine pests, such as Undaria or Mediterranean Fanworm, establishing.

The Fiordland Marine Regional Pathway Management Plan is the first of its kind in New Zealand and is a huge step towards 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 will be implemented by a partnership group including Environment Southland, Fiordland Marine Guardians (, Ministry for Primary Industries (, Department of Conservation (, and Ngai Tahu.

The plan sets out a number of 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.

This brochure will provide a quick overview of the rules:

 Fiordland Marine Regional Pathway Management Plan Brochure

Or you can read the full plan here:

 Fiordland Marine Regional Pathway Management Plan

What are the rules?

Fiordland Marine Regional Pathway Management Plan-1.jpgThe 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 must hold a Clean Vessel Pass. Obtaining the pass includes agreeing to abide by the following standards:

Clean hull standard

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. (

Clean gear standard

All marine gear and equipment on the vessel (including any equipment to establish new moorings) is visibly clean, free of fouling, free of sediment and preferably dry.

For cleaning guidance, see the brochure below:

2016 Protect Fiordland's Exceptional Marine Biodiversity

Residual seawater standard

All on-board 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 which the plan applies to 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.


Useful resources:

Further information about the Fiordland Marine Biosecurity Programme can be found at:

How do I apply for a Clean Vessel Pass?

To complete the Clean Vessel Pass online – you will need to be a registered online user with Council. To do this you will need a RealMe account.

You will only need one RealMe login with a single username and password which will give you access to online Council services where the login is required. The RealMe login is designed to protect your privacy and security.

If you don’t have an account already, you will need to create one by selecting the “Create your RealMe login now” option. This will only take a few minutes.

If you already have a login, you will be able to login using your existing details and go straight through to begin your Clean Vessel Pass application.


You can also download an application form below or contact us on 0800 76 88 45 or email to have one posted out to you.

 Clean Vessel Pass application form

 Fiordland Marine Pathway Plan Rules

FAQs about the Clean Vessel Pass

Do I need a pass for everybody who will skipper the boat?

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 applying when they bring the vessel into Fiordland and ensure they are meeting the standards.

Do I need a separate pass each time I come to Fiordland?

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.

How much will a pass cost?

There is no cost for a Clean Vessel Pass.

How do I apply?

You can apply or renew a Clean Vessel Pass online through the Environment Southland website, or by emailing a completed application form to, or posting a completed application form to Environment Southland, Private Bag 90116, Invercargill 9840.   

What do you do with the information I give you?

Your information will be stored in Environment Southland's database so that we can remind you when your pass needs renewed. From time to time, we may also use your contact details to send you specific information about the Fiordland area or the Fiordland Marine Pathway Plan (eg 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 Fiordland, when and where they are coming from.

What if I have to go into Fiordland 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.

How quickly can I get a Clean Vessel Pass?

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.

Do I need to have my boat/hull specially cleaned in order to get a Clean Vessel Pass?

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 prior to departure, you are required to take action to ensure your vessel will meet the standards e.g. if fouling on 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.

Is there a fine for not having a pass?

There is not fine, however vessels without a Clean Vessel Pass are in breach of the Fiordland Marine Regional Pathway Management Plan and subject to inspection by authorised divers. This will be cost recovered.



Page reviewed: 13 Jun 2018 9:48am