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Check, Clean, Dry

Protect Against Invasive, Non-Native Species (INNS)

The best way to protect both your stretch of water and others around the UK from INNS follow the Check, Clean and Dry approach to removing INNS from your boat, equipment and clothing.


  • Check for any plant or animal material on your boat, equipment and clothing. Pay particular attention to areas that are damp or hard to inspect.
  • Remove visible fouling and put in the bin, not back in the water.


  • Wash your boat, equipment and clothing that has come into contact with the water thoroughly with tap water (including outboard, trailer and trolley/vehicle tyres). Pay attention to any crevices.
  • Flush outboard engines with clean fresh water before leaving the site using appropriate equipment, flush muffs or in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. Allow the water to drain completely from the engine in a vertical down position.
  • For boats kept in the water permanently or not lifted often, remove biofouling regularly from the hull with a sponge or soft brush to prevent build up.
  • Any fouling that cannot be removed with a soft sponge or brush must be lifted and cleaned onshore. Choose a marina operator with a filtered boat wash down facility that can capture not only biofouling, but any antifoul residue.
  • Where a filtered wash-down facility is not available, ensure removed biofouling is collected and disposed of in a bin.


  • When recovering your craft drain water from every part and all equipment that can hold water, e.g. water that collects in bilges, base of the mast and centre board casing before leaving a site
  • Clothing and equipment should be thoroughly dried for as long as possible before it is used elsewhere. This is important because many species can survive in damp conditions for up to two weeks.
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