Invasive Species – Time to Check Clean Dry

The summer sailing season is starting to kick off. Boaters who have been as dormant as their boats over the winter months have sprung to life, cleaning and prepping their craft. While the sparrows prepare their nests, these boaters are getting ready to compete or cruise in the beautiful British summer. And with that comes the call to once again Check, Clean and Dry!

You may have already heard of the better known (INNS) Invasive Non Native Species such as the ‘Killer Shrimp’ or ‘New Zealand Pigmyweed’ but others such as ‘Carpet Sea Squirt’, ‘Wireweed’ and ‘Zebra Mussels’ have also been found in British waters. These species are not native to the British Isles and left unchecked can cause harm, effectively outcompeting, native UK species. They can also clog up waterways and affect water quality making navigation difficult, for example certain types of water primrose that can grow into thick carpets.

 

Killer shrimp
Killer shrimp

Check, Clean, Dry is the best way to protect both your stretch of water and others around the country from INNS. You may have taken your boat to a club or site already actively dealing with these problems and may therefore be well versed in the Check Clean Dry process. If you haven’t or even if you rarely take your boat away from your club, it is good advice to have all boats, checked, cleaned and dried before getting back on the water, especially in the wake of the high tides and major flooding.

When you Check Clean Dry it is more than just the boat, it is anything that may have had contact with the water and could possibly hide species, fragments, eggs or spores of an INNS – Killer Shrimp can lay up to 200 eggs per clutch and can spread rapidly! Thoroughly check and wash down the trailer and any launching trollies, particularly nooks and crannies such as tyre treads, and check, clean and dry sails, wetsuits and buoyancy aids. The drying stage is just as important as some species can survive in damp equipment and clothing for up to two weeks. It may seem like extra effort, but the pros outweigh the cons and will ensure you have a healthy stretch of water to sail on for many seasons to come.

Find out more about The Green Blue and get The Green Blue’s Aquatic Invaders poster