Re: Aquatic Invasive Species
Government precautions to prevent importation of "Aquatic Invasive Species" are becomming a major concern for cruising yachts. Yachts clearing into a country from international ports have had to undergo a quarantine inspection since the turn of the century to prevent the importation of foods or soil that may contain diseases, seeds or plants that might prove dangerous to the local environment or economy. These concerns are not being extended to include the possible importation of marine organisms by yachts.
In 2005 Australia began a "voluntary" system that asked all yachts less than 25m long coming from foreign ports to be certain their yachts are free from fouling organisms. That trial period is coming to a close and Australia is expected to make quarintine inspections for marine fouling organisms mandatory in the near future.
Yachts less than 25m in length are required to:
1. Have an effective - and approved - anti-fouling coating. This coating must be recent and in good condition. Any bottom paint containing TBTO is prohibited (tests are conducted to determine if the paint is approved).
2. Inspect, and if necessary, clean the vessel including, but not limited to, the entire bottom, internal seawater systems, sea chests, rudder stock and propeller shafts, anchors, chains and other ancillary gear immediately prior to arrival in Australia. Once inspected and cleaned at an overseas port, the yacht must depart immediately and traveldirectly to Australia to minimise re-contamination.
3. Maintain a voyage and biofouling maintenance log and other documentation that supports any biofouling mitigation activities undertaken.
Inspectors will determine if the operatorís maintenance has been effective in minimising the biofouling accumulation on the vessel and, if there is any doubt, schedule an in-water inspection by divers to determine the level and nature of biofouling present. Reference DAFF website:
(link prevented by forum rules)
Internationally travelling yachts will do well to maintain their biofouling and pest maintenance log in a professional format and keep dated shipyard receipts of antifouling paints used.