New Zealand’s Cruise Ship Biofouling Compliance Declines

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  • Cruise ships visiting New Zealand are largely meeting the country’s stringent biofouling standards, ensuring its distinctive marine environment protection, according to Biosecurity New Zealand deputy director-general Stuart Anderson.
  • In the current season, only one out of the anticipated 54 cruise vessels, making approximately 1,100 port visits, failed to meet New Zealand’s biofouling standards, preventing its entry into the country’s waters.
  • Three other non-compliant vessels faced restricted itineraries and underwent further education.
  • Anderson attributes the improvement to collaborative efforts between Biosecurity New Zealand and cruise companies to ensure compliance with biofouling regulations, which are among the world’s most stringent.
  • Biosecurity New Zealand plans to review the season’s outcomes and make necessary adjustments by April, underscoring its commitment to safeguarding New Zealand’s primary sectors, economy, and unique areas for future generations.

Improvement In Cruise Ship Compliance

Mr. Anderson reported that out of the anticipated 54 cruise ships scheduled for around 1,100 port visits this season, only one vessel failed to enter New Zealand waters due to non-compliance with our critical biofouling standards, essential for safeguarding our marine ecosystems and economy.

“Three other non-compliant vessels had restricted itineraries and were subject to further education.”

Mr Anderson said the four non-compliant vessels compared to 11 vessels for the 2022/23 cruise season when fewer ships and port visits took place.

Positive Trends In Biofouling Management

“The drop in biofouling issues is a good result when you consider there’s been an increase of about 25% in vessels arriving this season,” Mr. Anderson said.

“Biosecurity New Zealand has worked closely with cruise companies to help them understand and meet our biofouling rules, which are among the strongest in the world for a good reason – they ensure visitors and New Zealanders will enjoy our special marine areas, such as Fiordland, for generations to come,” he said.

He welcomed the efforts of newcomers to meet the biofouling requirements, “We have had some new cruise providers arrive in New Zealand this year and they have adapted well to meeting our requirements. I want to thank the cruise industry for its efforts to combat biofouling as it continues to be a major biosecurity threat. We know that almost 90% of the exotic marine species already in New Zealand likely arrived here as marine growth on the submerged surfaces of international vessels.”

Future Plans And Commitments

Mr Anderson said Biosecurity New Zealand will review the season when it finishes in April and adjust where required.

“We are committed to protecting New Zealand from pests and disease to protect our vital primary sectors, economy, and unique areas for future generations,” he concluded.

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Source: rivieramm