Leisure and industrial craft sectors have a crucial role to play in the prevention and surveillance of invasive alien species. This sector encompasses larger boats, those that are routinely kept in the water and those that are moved from one waterbody to another.
- Prevent fouling. 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 aquatic environment from harm caused by translocations of invasive species.
- If possible, keep boats in the water for short periods of time.
- Treat your boat with appropriate antifouling techniques 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 marine 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 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.
- Remove fouling prior to long distance journeys. If travelling to or from Britain, Europe or further afield remember that the 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, remove all hull fouling, renew antifouling treatments if required and dry all mooring lines completely.
- Read more about applying antifouling to your vessel/craft.
- Do not allow rats to stow away on your boat. Rats are capable of sometimes going unnoticed on larger boats. Use of rat guards on mooring likes can prevent access. Should you find a rat on your boat do not allow it to escape and gain access to sensitive offshore or lake islands. Humanely dispatch any rat that stows away on your boat.
- Do not discharge untreated bilge water. Untreated bilge water should be discharged in a responsible manner. Bilge water will contain toxic substances and also may contain the microscopic organisms or life cycle stages that are harmful to native ecosystems.
Reporting all sightings: