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Algae-ridden cruise ship asked to leave New Zealand waters

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Algae-ridden cruise ship asked to leave New Zealand waters

According to MPI, 6121 international vessels arrived in New Zealand between January 2020 and September 2022. There were 377, or 6% of vessels that were issued a notice of direction to address biofouling issues.

“Because of the level of algae and barnacles, the vessel was asked to depart New Zealand waters by 29 December. The vessel operators chose to leave Wellington after visiting it on 26 December, to have its hull cleaned in Australia.”

The algae and barnacles, or biofouling, was picked up during regular Biosecurity NZ risk assessment and surveillance.

Hallett confirmed the ship posed less of a risk than the Coral Princess, which had to have snails cleaned off the underside of the ship off the coast of Tauranga a week earlier.

“We know that nearly 90% of marine pests arrive in this country on the submerged surfaces of international vessels,” he noted. “Such pests can adversely impact New Zealand's economy and environment. This is why New Zealand has some of the highest biofouling standards in the world.

Craig Harris, managing director of McKay Shipping, said it was unusual to see cruise ships needing to be cleaned. He believed the lay-up of ships during the pandemic may be part of the problem. “They are generally dry-docked and have their hulls cleaned and painted. At the moment, there's a shortage of facilities all around the world of underwater divers or cleaners.

It was the first time Harris remembered cruise ships being cleaned in New Zealand as they were normally cleaned to a high standard. Cargo ships were often cleaned, sometimes multiple times a week, he said.



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There was something on TVNZ1 news the other night. I believe the cruiseship industry has been laid up for months and dry docks are full ,so they cannot get in for clean off. Good on bio NZ for making a stand though bit late for some invasive pests.

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