Boat Owners - General Biosecurity Duty

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Being a boat owner in Tasmania, or travelling through Tasmanian waters, means that you have an important role to play in helping to protect the state from the impact of aquatic pests and diseases.  

Listed below are some biosecurity actions you can take to meet your general biosecurity duty (GBD) and to help keep you, your family​ and Tasmania biosecurity safe. 

Important Biosecurity Actions

Biosecurity vigilance (also known as Notification of a Biosecurity Event)​

  • If you SEE something during your recreational boating activities that is unusual or of biosecurity concern, such as potential exotic pest, disease, or invasive animal species

  • ​take a photo if possible, noting the location; and then

  • REPORT it to Biosecurity Tasmania as soon as possible - see reporting details below

Please note: Taking samples in the field may increase the risk of spreading the biosecurity risk so Biosecurity Tasmania will provide further instruction regarding possible sample collection and submission.​

Prior to entry into Tasmania, or immediately after every trip when in Tasmanian waters, CHECK, CLEAN, DRAIN and DRY your vessel.

​Trailered vessels

For trailered vessels (including canoes, kayaks and jetskis):

  • CHECK your vessel, remove any weeds, marine/freshwater organisms or sediment from your boat, trailer and gear and place in the bin, NOT back in the water.
  • After each trip CHECK, CLEAN, DRAIN & DRY your boat, trailer and gear (including rope, anchor etc) with fresh water. Tiny eggs & plant spores can survive in a damp area for months.

Recommended areas to check and clean if present:

  • anchor well and anchor, including ropes/chains

  • deck fittings

  • storage bins and lockers

  • hull surface

  • bilges

  • water inlets/outlets

  • sonar tubes/echo sounder booths and transducers

  • burley bucket

  • propeller and outboard surfaces

  • trailer

​Non-trailered vessels

  • Slip and clean your boat regularly, at least every year and anytime there is a build-up of fouling.

  • Select an approved antifouling paint suited to your boat and apply it correctly following the manufacturers advice. Renew it when persistent fouling occurs.

  • Treat internal seawater systems regularly. Flush with fresh water or an approved treatment.

  • Dispose of sewage and bilge water at an approved pump out facility. Waste could contain marine pests, eggs or larvae.

  • Recommended areas to check and clean if present:

    • Anchor well and anchor, including ropes/chains

    • deck fittings

    • storage bins, lockers, cupboards and living spaces

    • cooling pipes

    • sewage and bilge tanks

    • keel

    • propeller and shaft

    • rudder and marlin board

    • water inlets/outlets

Fishing equipment

Prior to entry into Tasmania, CHECK, CLEAN, DRAIN and DRY your fishing equipment, including any gear likely to get wet when undertaking fishing (such as fishing rods, waders, tackle boxes, hiking boots etc.). 

  • CHECK all equipment, remove any weeds, marine organisms or sediment and place in the bin, NOT back in the water.

  • CLEAN all equipment in freshwater. DRAIN water from any equipment as required and leave to DRY in direct sunlight (note that in some situations it may take several days to dry completely).

  • In addition, use a mild detergent, disinfectant or soap, and wash equipment away from shore where it cannot drain into the marine environment.

Importing items into Tasmania

​If you are sailing into Tasmania, it is prohibited to bring items such as fresh fruit and vegetables, plants and seeds ashore. 

Please note: importation requirements for all animals, including dogs, entering Tasmania are set out in the Tasmanian Animal Biosecurity Manual.

​​Contact and reporting

To contact Biosecurity Tasmania for general information or to report a suspected pest, weed or disease:

Phone: (03) 6165 3777


Alternatively, for reporting pests, weeds or diseases, you can call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline (1800 084 881) or the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline (1800 675 858)

Stay up to date on biosecurity in Tasmania​

Subscribing to get Tasmanian Biosecurity Advisories is the best way you can keep yourself up-to-date and fully informed about Tasmanian biosecurity issues. Our Advisories cover topics such as changes or proposed changes to Tasmania’s import regulations, animal health and welfare, plant health, forthcoming regulation reviews and opportunities for public comment, new or emerging pest/disease risks and a range of other matters related to Tasmania’s biosecurity.​​

Follow Biosecurity Tasmania on Facebook.

Please note that this information contains minimum recommendations only. The GBD requires a person dealing with biosecurity matter or a carrier to take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk associated with the dealing. Such measures may not be specified in any regulations, guidelines or other official publications.