Clean, check, dry to stop the spread of marine pests

Image from Parks Victoria

There has never been a better time to be a Victorian recfisher with absolutely cracking fishing on offer right across the state. To ensure the sustainability of our elite fisheries for future generations, we as recfishers need to do our part to ensure we take care of the marine environment and preventing the spread of marine pests and diseases.

Over the years, we have unfortunately seen many marine pests introduced into our iconic southern Australian waterways. Over 90% of the plants and animals in our waters are not found anywhere else in the world. Marine pests can have a major impact on our native marine life, often spreading rapidly, smothering native marine life and outcompeting with and feeding on our native species.

Currently there is an ongoing outbreak of abalone disease in the south-west which serves as a timely reminder to ensure we use best practice steps to stop the spread of marine pests and diseases in our waterways. Marine pests are easily spread when boats, vessels such as kayaks and other equipment is moved between different waterways. The most effective way to control the spread of marine pests is to stop their introduction into new areas as once established their total eradication is very rare.

Parks Victoria have developed the ‘Clean, Check Dry’ method to encourage good vessel hygiene which can help stop the spread of marine pests and diseases.

Good vessel hygiene through the ‘Clean, Check, Dry’ method means:

  • Check any equipment and vessels that have been in marine waters for pests
  • Clean them in freshwater
  • Dry the equipment before moving to a new marine location.

Other tips to help prevent the spread of marine pests:

  • Use fresh water to throughly wash down boats, vessels, fishing gear, wetsuits, water toys and other marine equipment after use.
  • Dry boats, vessels and other marine equipment throughly before moving to other locations.
  • When moving boats and marine equipment from areas known to have marine pests, particularly Port Phillip Bay, be vigilant in using the ‘clean, check, dry’ method before|

If you do see a suspected marine pest, it is very important that you do not collect or remove the suspected pest as some pests can easily be mistaken for native species. Suspected sightings of marine pests outside of their known distribution should be made immediately to [email protected] or call 136 186.

Download Parks Victoria’s Clean, Check, Dry Brochure

To keep your boat free from marine pests, ensure you target the areas shown below when cleaning your boat.

Check out the ‘Clean, Check, Dry’ video below.

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