Clean, Check, Dry to Stop the Spread of Marine Pests

Our iconic Port Phillip Bay is home to a vast range of habitat and wildlife ranging from seagrass meadows with sea dragons, kelp forests that many fish species call home, sponge gardens and our beloved shellfish reefs that are currently being restored to their former glory.

The Bay is a hot spot for fishing, boating, yachting and other water-based activities. It is also a pathway for commercial ships travelling to and from the ports of Melbourne and Geelong from across the globe. Over time, we have seen many troublesome marine pests introduced into our iconic Australian southern waters. 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.

Victorian fishers and boaters can play a key role in ensuring they stop the spread of marine pests as 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. Marine pests are easily spread when boats, vessels such as kayaks and other equipment is moved between different waterways.

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

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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