Every boater needs to be aware of the sensitive ecological environments that they operate in and ensure that their time on the water does not have a detrimental impact on these ecosystems. Whether you are fishing or simply boating for pleasure, being aware of the environment around you will ensure that it stays in a pristine condition for future generations to enjoy.
MORE THRILLS, LESS SPILLS
It is preferred that boats are refilled on land as this minimises the chances of fuel spills at the marina. Don’t overfill the tank and if fuel is spilt in the refuelling process, use absorbent pads to clean up the spill – and dispose of them correctly.
Do not clean your engine at the waterway as this increases the chances of spills and chemicals making it into the water. Keep your engines tuned and serviced to prevent oily discharges getting it into the bilge and then into the water. Small amounts of fuel and chemicals can have a major impact on large quantities of water and the micro-organisms within the water, potentially upsetting the entire food chain.
Never use soap to disperse oil or fuel spills as this will cause even more harm to the environment. When cleaning the boat, use phosphate-free soaps that are biodegradable and have little impact on the environment.
KEEP TO THE DEEP
Where possible, try and avoid boating in the shallows as the propeller action disturbs the sensitive ecosystems, grasses and other plant and animal life. The propeller action also churns up sediment that can be ingested into the boat’s pump and result in engine problems.
If it is necessary for you to move through shallow waters, do so at an idling speed to minimise the damage.