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Kiwi Yachting Safety at Sea

Healthy Waterways translates to safer boating, more catch

by Joanna Woutersz on 7 Jan 2013
Hawkesbury-Nepean River Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority
The Hawkesbury-Nepean Coastal Catchment Management Authorities has come up with a new DVD that encourages boaters and fishers to take care of aquatic habitat, cushion their impact by following few basic tips and be the eyes, ears and voice of the aquatic environment.

A new DVD produced by the Coastal Catchment Management Authorities calls on boaters and fishers to minimise their impact by anchoring away from seagrass beds and rocky reefs, using approved swing moorings and berthing areas and taking all their litter back to the shore for proper disposal.

Bernie Bugden, General Manager of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority said the DVD had been produced in partnership with the Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW, Boating Industry Association of NSW, Boat Owners Association of NSW, the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Maritime as part of a two-year educational program.

'People who enjoy boating and fishing need to be aware of their impact on the waterways and take care so that our waterways will be protected for future generations,' said Mr Bugden.

'The ‘Healthy Waterways’ DVD educates boaters and fishers about using biodegradable fishing lines and lures, reducing bank erosion by continuously assessing their boat’s wash and keeping their propellers clear of seagrass.

'After each trip, people should be washing down their boat, trailer and gear, removing weeds, animals or sediment and disposing of waste water appropriately so that it doesn’t re-enter the waterways. This will reduce the risk of moving aquatic pests to new areas.

'Volunteering is another way to help keep our waterways clean and we encourage people to get involved in marine clean up days. Boaters and fishers are out on the water all the time so they can become the ‘eyes, ears and voice’ of the aquatic environment by reporting habitat destruction, pollution, aquatic, freshwater weeds and illegal discharge from vessels to appropriate authorities,' said Mr Budgen.

The DVD can be viewed on the Hawkesbury-Nepean website Healthy Waterways and also on Youtube. This project has been funded under the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country initiative and the NSW Coastal CMAs.

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