The marina operator sector has a crucial role to play in the prevention and surveillance of invasive species. With the influx of boat traffic and associated species that can potentially foul these vessels, marinas are key to ensure customers/users are aware of the issues and employ effective strategies to prevent arrival/spread of invasive species.
Promote marina and boat operation practices that minimize the opportunities of spreading invasive species. The key messages are:
- Inspect – remove – dispose – report: Removing build up of plants and animals from equipment and the hull of boats is effective at preventing the opportunity of colonization by invasive species. To prevent the spread of invasive species ensure you/customers always follow these guidelines:
- Clean all parts of equipment, boats and trailer that come into contact with the water. Remove any visible plant, fish, animal matter and mud.
- Do not allow rinse water to return to the aquatic environment, where possible: Many organisms can remain viable even in small (sometimes microscopic) quantities.
- Do not move fouled vessels or equipment from one waterbody to another.
- Keep good records of when equipment and boats are due to have antifouling renewed.
- Watch out for hitchhikers on ropes and chains.
- Ensure proper handling of bilge water: Require as part of the environmental contract, or by other appropriate means, that untreated bilge water not be discharged within the marina. Bilge water will contain toxic substances and also may contain invasive species.
- Ensure boats use rat guards while docked at your site and when they move to other sites. Rat guards prevent rats from accessing or leaving from boats via mooring lines. If rats are found on board your vessel they should be humanely put down and not thrown overboard where they can swim to islands.
Provide ID guides for invasive species. ID guides can be obtained from:
- Most Unwanted Section of this website.
- National Biodiversity Data Centre.
- GB Non-native Species Secretariat.
- Marine Life Information Network.
Report sightings of invasive species or any organism you suspect may be a high risk species.
Biofouling control: fouling of vessels is known to reduce efficiency, increase drag and increase fuel consumption. Also, the increased weight to mooring lines caused by fouling organisms may hinder the ease end users have of handling them. It is in the interest of owners to keep fouling off vessels and lines and thereby protecting the environment from harm caused by translocations of invasive species.
- Keep boats in water for as short a time period as possible.
- Treat your boat with appropriate antifouling that adhere to the craft manufacturers recommendations and prevent build up of organisms.
- Ensure boats submit to yearly removal of fouling
- When treating a craft, 100% surface cover with the chosen method is essential. Small areas left available for plant or animal growth can give species the opportunity to colonise new areas.
- Antifouling paints are designed to present aquatic organisms with a barrier to prevent settlement. These compounds are sometimes toxic to humans, aquatic organisms and terrestrial species and care should be taken to follow the guidelines stipulated by the manufacturer at all times.
- If mooring lines become heavily fouled remove them from the water, dispose of fouling f. in a dustbin or skip (do not allow fouling to return to the aquatic environment), and allow the ropes to dry out for a period greater than 48 hours
Encourage the removal of fouling prior to long distance journeys: If marina users are travelling to or from Britain, Europe or further afield remind them that hull and mooring lines may have potentially damaging hitchhikers present. We have a responsibility to protect not only our environment but that of the areas we visit. Before undertaking such a trip, marina users should be encouraged to remove all hull fouling, renew antifouling treatments, if required, and attempt to dry all mooring lines completely.
Develop and employ tools to help implement the CoP: This code sets out guidance on how to prevent the spread and impacts associated with invasive species. The success of the code will depend on how widely available and accessible information is to stakeholders. The most effective tool to disseminate information relating to the code is the publicising and incorporation of the code into the operating procedures and standards of all stakeholders. The following guidelines are recommended to achieve effective implementation:
- Display signage, if possible: the erection of signs pertaining to invasive species will inform customers and users of their responsibility in preventing the spread of species.
- Incorporate responsible boating practices into customer contracts: The use of customer contracts not only ensures that your customers respect your marina and business but also gives you the opportunity to promote environmentally friendly practices. The incorporation of this information will provide boaters with clear guidelines on how their actions can prevent the spread of invasive species.
- Promote environmentally sound boating practices: raise awareness of environmentally sound boating behaviour at events held/hosted by your company, where appropriate.
- Promote your marinas environmental standards to customers and the public: ensuring that users and the public are aware of the efforts managers/owners are putting in place to protect the environment will help achieve compliance with the protocols stipulated in this Code of Practice.
Some measures in this code will necessitate the need to expend resources to achieve success. This should not deter managers from implementing the code. Some strategies are:
- Rent or sale of equipment that will ensure effective treatment of boats and compliance with your companies environmental policy and this CoP.
- Sale of appropriate antifouling strategies.
- Provide audit services for customer boats to ensure compliance with boating CoP or otherenvironmental services. Recommend appropriate mitigation measures to minimise impact on the environment.
- Investigate further measures that will help implement this code and other environmental standards. One such measure may be the imposing of an environmental surcharge. Any charge must be transparent and customers must be aware of the facilities and actions put in place to justify additional fees. It is also recommended that the surcharge is itemised so as to raise awareness of the various environmental issues tackled by your company.