March 2019: Restrictions on anchoring, mooring, gear and water movement are still in place in Breaksea Sound. Since December 2017 restrictions have been put in place within the Controlled Area in the Beach Harbour-John Islands area of the Sound to help slow the spread of the invasive Asian kelp Undaria pinnatifida (Undaria) from a known infestation.
A statement in the press (Southland Times pg 5, 21 Feb) asserted that efforts to control Undaria had been abandoned. This statement is incorrect. The recent discovery of further spread of Undaria in the Sound, however, has prompted the proposal of new rules for boaties. Environment Southland has recommended permanent rules in the Proposal for a Southland Regional Pest Management Plan, as a replacement for the Controlled Area Notice to try and prevent further human-assisted spread. The rules will place the emphasis on boaties moving in and out of Breaksea Sound to ensure their boats and gear are free from Undaria contamination and support enforcement of anybody found in breach of the rules. In the meantime, the Controlled Area Notice remains in place and vessel operators are reminded about the need for vigilance when coming into Fiordland.
To find out more about the Proposal for a Southland Regional Pest Management Plan and the staff recommendation for Undaria go to http://www. haveyoursay.es.govt.nz/pest-plan For the latest information about the controlled area please visit www.es.govt.nz and search “Controlled Area for Breaksea Sound”.