DVD offers tips on keeping our seas healthy

Healthy Ocean - we’ll only keep it by caring for it
.. .
All Boaters are being encouraged to look after aquatic habitat, minimise their impact by following a few simple tips and be the eyes, ears and voice of the aquatic environment! It has been produced by NSW authorities, but is applicable anywhere in Australia.

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 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 about reducing bank erosion by continuously assessing their boat’s wash, keeping their propellers clear of seagrass and when fishing using biodegradable fishing lines and lures,.

'After each trip, people with trailer sailers 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 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 www.hn.cma.nsw.gov.au and also on Youtube. This project has been funded under the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country initiative and the NSW Coastal CMAs.