Third cruise ship in three weeks fails New Zealand's biofouling standards

The Seven Seas Explorer.
The Seven Seas Explorer. Photo credit: Regent Seven Seas / Supplied to RNZ

Another cruise ship has failed to comply with New Zealand's biofouling standards, which included having too many tube worms found on its underside.

It was the third cruise ship in as many weeks that failed to fully comply.

Biosecurity NZ environmental health manager Paul Hallett said Seven Seas Explorer provided pre-arrival documentation earlier this week from Australia.

"It didn't meet our biofouling standards because of higher than allowed levels of algae, barnacles, tube worms, and potential oysters present," he explained.

Hallett said the vessel's operator informed authorities this morning it would be getting its hull cleaned in Australia.

"[Seven Seas Explorer] aims to visit New Zealand in just over a week's time. Vessels are allowed to enter if they can show they meet our standards."

Ships were also able to be cleaned here, outside of territorial waters - at least 12 nautical miles from the coast.

According to operator Regent Seven Seas' website, the ship departed Sydney on 29 December and was supposed to enter New Zealand waters to cruise Fiordland on Thursday.

Biosecurity NZ was working with the ship's operator to help it meet the requirements, Hallett added.

Regent Seven Seas has been contacted for comment.