Ministry directs that trawler be moved from Chathams
25 March 2000
The Ministry of Fisheries Deputy Chief Technical Officer has issued a direction under the Biosecurity Act that the trawler Seafresh 1 must be moved from Hanson Bay on the Chatham Islands where it sank last week.
The trawler was found on Thursday to be carrying the Asian seaweed, undaria, which has been determined to be an unwanted organism.
Experts believe that undaria is not present on the Chatham Islands. The hull of the Seafresh 1 is likely to harbour juvenile and microscopic stages of the plant which have the potential to grow rapidly, reproduce and become a long-term potential source of undaria that could inoculate the Chatham Islands.
Under the terms of the direction the vessel must be moved within 30 days and either sunk in at least 1500 metres of water, or relocated to an area in which undaria already exists.
The Ministry stated that the decision to declare undaria an unwanted organism did not affect consultation now underway for a National Marine Pest Strategy.
For further information please contact:
Ministry of Fisheries
Tel 04 470 2643 or 021 822 588