A NSW Government website

Recreational waterway users

Boats sailingEveryone who uses our NSW aquatic environment, whether for recreation, hobby or business activities, has an essential role to play in maintaining our biosecurity.

Members of the public such as fishers, divers and local environmental groups, are often the first to notice a new aquatic pest species or the spread of an existing pest into a new area. This information can be very valuable in helping to manage pest problems.

Please report any suspected pests or diseases. Early detection of an aquatic pest population is critical! Once a pest has established in an area, it is very difficult, if not impossible to eradicate.

What you can do

As a recreational waterway user, you have a responsibility to reduce the risk of the spread of aquatic pests and diseases from your activities. Practising good biosecurity can help reduce the threat to NSW waterways.

  • Make 'Clean' Part of your routine (PDF, 385.23 KB): Ensure your boat and gear are kept clean to reduce the spread of pests and diseases from one waterway to another. Check your vehicle, boat, trailer and gear before entering a waterway and clean them all down when departing.
  • Keep your moored boat free of fouling by applying a suitable antifouling paint, and cleaning and renewing it when persistent fouling occurs. See the National biofouling management guidelines for recreational vessels (PDF, 1.17 MB) for more information.
  • Avoid boating, swimming and diving near known populations of introduced aquatic pests (such as Caulerpa taxifolia).
  • Be aware of local conditions and possible restrictions by paying attention to and following all signs and warnings.
  • Dispose of wastes (including human seafood waste) in a rubbish bin away from the water.
  • Don’t use prawns or other seafood meant for human consumption as bait.
  • If you catch your own bait use it only in the waterbody it came from.
  • Report anything unusual!