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Bulker DL Marigold expelled from New Zealand over bio-threat from hull

Bulker DL Marigold expelled from New Zealand over bio-threat from hull
A Korean-owned bulk carrier has been ordered to leave New Zealand waters after its hull was judged to be threat to bio-security.

The 2012-built, 33,752 dwt bulker DL Marigold arrived in the port of Tauranga on Saturday 4 March from Indonesia and was due to stay in New Zealand waters for nine days.

However, New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) ordered the vessel to leave the country’s waters within 24 hours on Sunday following the discovery of dense fouling of barnacles and tube worms on its hull and other underwater surfaces by divers.

"The longer the vessel stayed in New Zealand, the greater chance there was for unwanted marine species to spawn or break away from the ship. So we had to act quickly," said Steve Gilbert, MPI's border clearance director.

"The vessel won't be allowed back until it can provide proof it has been thoroughly cleaned."

The MPI said it understood the DL Marigold would go to Fiji for hull cleaning before returning to New Zealand to complete discharging its cargo of palm oil expeller.

It marks the first time an international vessel has been expelled from New Zealand waters for biofouling. "We were dealing with severe contamination in this case," Gilbert said.

From May 2018 it will be mandatory for all international vessels entering New Zealand waters to have a clean hull and in the interim action can be taken in “severe” cases as it has been with the DL Marigold.

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