Managing Waste from Boats

All vessels are required to comply with marine pollution regulations - this page will help you deal with waste properly.


it is prohibited to discharge untreated sewage within 500 metres of shore or a marine farm, 200 metres of a marine reserve, or in water less than five metres deep.

This effectively prohibits discharge of untreated sewage within Astrolabe Roadstead, or in the greater Torrent Bay, for example. Urine is acceptable.

There are no pump-out sewage reception facilities in Tasman district. However, for those with cartridge toilets (self-contained camping-type toilets) there are a number of caravan dump points.

Rubbish, Plastics and Oils

Stow it - don't throw it!

It is illegal to discharge plastics or oils into the water.

All oil spills into the sea must by law be reported immediately to the Council’s Regional On-Scene Commander on 03 543 8400 or to Maritime New Zealand. The spiller must also take all safe and practicable steps to contain the spill and minimise environmental harm until trained oil spill response staff are able to assess the spill.

Please retain all rubbish aboard for proper disposal ashore.

Hull Scrapings and Anti-fouling Paint

Boat hulls that are not routinely trailered should be regularly treated with an anti-fouling paint that complies with the latest environmental protection regulations and guidelines. A clean hull is more efficient through the water, and helps prevent the spread of unwanted marine pests.

However, there are no dedicated slipways in Tasman district with containment and treatment facilities for what comes off your hull when you are cleaning and painting it. It is important to contain any biofouling and any chemical contaminants, and dispose of that waste properly, for example to landfill. Significant penalties can apply under the Resource Management Act or Biosecurity Act for unauthorised discharge of contaminants into the coastal marine area.

If you are unable to trailer or slip your vessel onto dry land, placing a lined tarpaulin under where you are working during careening, and taking it away for disposal at each tide, is generally appropriate for smaller boats. For small quantities, disposal with your normal household waste is acceptable. Heavily fouled or large boats should use an appropriate containment facility, for example the commercial haul-outs at Port Nelson.

Your marine retailer will be able to advise on the most appropriate anti-fouling paint.

Further Information