Auckland Council is appealing to boaties and leisure craft users to be waste-wise on the water over summer to conserve our oceans and coastlines.
Co-Chair of the Hauraki Gulf forum, Councillor Pippa Coom, reminds us of the value of this treasure, sharing, “The Hauraki Gulf, also known as Tīkapa Moana, Te Moananui-ā-Toi, is Auckland’s stunning blue backyard. We are so fortunate to have New Zealand’s first marine park right here on our doorstep. It is the seabird capital of the world and a whale superhighway.
“At the same time, the Gulf is hurting from the amount of plastic and other pollution that finds its way into the water. Please help us protect this taonga by following these waste-wise tips.”
Top tips for boaties
Here are our top tips for being waste-wise in the Gulf this summer:
- Remove any unnecessary packaging before you head to sea. Re-pack snacks into reusable containers and leave the soft plastic packaging behind. Avoid plastic wrap by wrapping your sandwiches in reusable beeswax wraps or storing them in reusable containers.
- Keep covered rubbish and recycling bins on board. Make sure all your litter makes it into a bin. This includes cigarette butts and fishing line. Dispose of your waste responsibly once you are back on land.
- Avoid single-use bottled water -- fill up and bring reusable water bottles on your trip.
- If you see rubbish floating by, scoop it out of the sea, even if it's not yours. It’s just one of the things you can do to Be A Tidy Kiwi.
- Fish heads and frames have a lot of food on them. If you don't want them, give them to someone who does! Head to Free Fish heads NZ to find your nearest drop off point.
- Fish with reusable lures and hooks. Try to avoid using homemade, single-use lures made with soft plastics.
- Save your shellfish or fish scraps to make your own berley, rather than buying berley in a plastic bag.
The wide impact of litter
Each individual bottle cap or straw adds up to devastating consequences if they end up in our waterways. Sea Cleaners have removed an estimated 98 million pieces of litter from our New Zealand coastlines since 2002.
That’s 9.8 million litres of rubbish, or 325 shipping containers filled with loose litter.
- Plastic of unknown origin - these are bits broken down over time at sea/on the beach, to the point where the product they came from is no longer recognisable.
- Food wrappers and containers
- Plastic bottle caps and lids
- Plastic bags
- Polystyrene / foam
Auckland Council offers a summer waste barge service over the peak holiday period at Man o’ War Bay, Waiheke Island to support leisure boat users to effectively manage their waste while out on the water for longer periods.
Visit makethemostofwaste.co.nz to learn more about the waste services available on Waiheke and Aotea / Great Barrier Island.
Clean Below? Good to go
Auckland Council is also encouraging boaties to ensure their boats have clean hulls before heading out to the Hauraki Gulf Islands. If boat owners clean their hulls while moored around the islands, it may dislodge and spread heavy metals and marine pests, which pose major risks to the Gulf's pristine marine environment.