Namely, last week MPI divers discovered dense fouling of barnacles and tube worms on the bulk carrier’s hull and other underwater surfaces, and the vessel was subsequently ordered to leave New Zealand within 24 hours on Sunday.
“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,” Steve Gilbert, MPI’s Border Clearance Director, said.
The ministry informed that the 2012-built bulker will have to be thoroughly cleaned before it can re-enter New Zealand waters.
The Panama-flagged DL Marigold arrived in Tauranga from Indonesia on March 4 and had been due to stay in New Zealand waters for 9 days.
AIS data provided by MarineTraffic shows that the ship departed New Zealand’s port on March 5 and is currently on its way to Suva, Fiji where it will undergo cleaning.
MPI added that the ship will then return to New Zealand to finish discharging a shipment of palm kernel expeller.
“The vessel won’t be allowed back until it can provide proof it has been thoroughly cleaned,” Gilbert said.