Boating NZ : FREE TO READ March 2014
6 Boating New Zealand March 2014 We welcome your letters and feedback for publication. Address to: The Editor, Boating New Zealand, PO Box 6341, Wellesley Street, Auckland 1141, or email firstname.lastname@example.org letterstotheeditor Dear Boating... Encouraging response to Northland fanwor m checks VISITING BOATIES HAVE been generally very supportive of new initiatives this summer to keep the marine pest Mediterranean fanworm out of Northland harbours. The Northland Regional Council had carried out 150 free, random hull checks by mid-January. “We expect the total to be more than 200 by the end of summer,” says Don McKenzie, the regional council’s Biosecurity Senior Programme Manager. Fanworm has so far been found on three of the vessels checked, and the owners of these were required to have their boats cleaned at an approved facility. Mr McKenzie says the response to the hull checks – carried out for the first time this summer – has been “hugely encouraging”. “There has been a massive increase in awareness amongst boaties, and no-one wants to see this pest spread further. Auckland marinas have also been helping to get the message out there and we’re very grateful for their support, which is assisting not only the Northland region but also the rest of the country.” A native of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coast of Europe, Mediterranean fanworm is internationally recognised as an invasive marine species that has successfully spread on vessel hulls as far afield as Brazil and Australia. It has been in New Zealand since 2009 and is one of six species on the Ministry for Primary Industries’ “most unwanted” list. “We are committed to preventing Mediterranean fanworm from establishing and spreading in Northland because of the risk it poses to aquaculture and to native marine species like scallops and mussels, and because of its extreme fouling impact on marine structures and vessel hulls,” says Mr McKenzie. “The majority of the marine pest incursions that have taken place in New Zealand so far have been attributed to hull fouling. Given that 2000 domestic and international recreational vessels visit Northland annually, our region is at high risk from new marine pests. “The co-operation and support we have experienced from boaties this summer is an indication that we have a genuine chance of success in preventing the spread of Mediterranean fanworm,” says Mr McKenzie. A group of nine Whangarei marine stakeholders (marina operators, ship repair facilities and haulout firms) have developed the Whangarei Marine Biosecurity Charter, a joint industry and agency response aimed at halting the establishment of fanworm. A group in the Far North is working towards a similar goal. MEDIA RELEASE RE THE CONTINUING debate about the proposed law/bylaws requiring occupants of dinghies to carry and wear life jackets even when moving between anchored vessels and beaches and jetties. In such situations I believe I can legally dive in and swim to shore without a lifejacket if I want to. I can also swim around my boat and to adjacent boats without a lifejacket. Why do these people in “authority” think that they need to inflict these stupid rules on us? Why do harbourmasters enforce them? Why do these people in “authority” care about whether I live or drown while enjoying myself boating as I have been doing for the past 60-odd years? Just because people elect to form life saving organisations – which I do appreciate – it doesn’t mean that they should dictate to us how we must behave. I belong to Coastguard and support their efforts but do not go out boating with the thought that they have to come to my rescue if I get into difficulty. If they do I will obviously appreciate it but I do not consider it my “right” or their “obligation”. I consider myself to be a safe boatie but am prepared to take some risks, otherwise I would not go boating or in fact get out of bed every day. My message to some of these law makers is to get on with their lives, enjoy them, take some risks and leave me alone to live how I want to, provided it is not harming or endangering others. Do not endanger yourself just to help me if I am in difficulty unless you really want to. I do not expect you to but will be grateful of the help. I will not be grateful of more Nana State rules and laws. On an even more cynical note, how many of these so-called safety laws are being driven by manufacturers of safety equipment? Warren Thorburn Auckland Compulsor y lifejackets: part of the Nana State Dear Rebecca I WAS SURPRISED by your comments on TV One news last night when you didn’t appear to support the compulsory wearing of life jackets on boats under 6 metres. Surely this is a positive move by the Auckland Council and would save lives? You mentioned you were “worried” that the law could also apply to boats under 8 metres. Surely this could also be a good thing? And surely the proposal by the Council would be supported by a New Zealand boating magazine, given the horrific and needless loss of lives in our waters when the wearing of life jackets could have saved some of those lives? Shona Irwin Thank you for your email, see Editorial, page 1. What are you thinking? Readers Letters_March14.indd 6 18/02/2014 5:26:28 p.m.
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