You Can Reduce the Spread of Invasive Alien Species and Help Our Biodiversity

As a water user, you may unknowingly be helping to spread invasive species from one water body to another in equipment, shoes and clothing.

Did you know that contaminated gear (e.g. equipment, boats, footwear, and clothing) is one of the most common causes of the spread of invasive species to new waterways? Invasive plants and animals can be small and hard to spot so are easily spread on damp equipment and clothing. 

You can help stop this from happening by following the Check Clean Dry code ...

  • CHECK boats, equipment, clothing and footwear for any plant or animal material, including seeds, spores and soil. Pay particular attention to areas that are damp or hard to inspect.
  • CLEAN and wash all equipment, footwear and clothes thoroughly. If you do come across any plants and animals, leave them at the water body where you found them.
  • DRY all equipment and clothing for at least 48 hours – some species can live for many days or weeks in moist conditions. Make sure you don’t transfer water elsewhere. (NOTE : If complete drying is not possible then disinfect everything).
    • If complete drying is not possible – Disinfect cleaned items. Use a disinfectant such as Virkon Aquatic, Virasure or another appropriate disinfectant. Items can be soaked, thoroughly sprayed or wiped down with disinfectant. Extreme care should be taken when using disinfectants and the manufacturer’s guidelines should always be followed.

We are delighted to be able to share the useful advice, posters and guidelines from the National Biodiversity Data Centre HERE. They even have posters that your club or centre can brand to share the message.

If you would like advise or support to help reduce the impact on the environment please contact our Environmental Officer Gail MacAllister or go to for some tips for boat owners, venues and events.

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