Invasive plants and animals from all over the world have been introduced accidentally to British waters. Over fifty different freshwater species have already been found in our lakes, rivers and other waterways, and the number of new arrivals is increasing rapidly.
They cause serious environmental problems that can be irreversible – killing fish by spreading diseases and reducing the oxygen levels of the water, outcompeting other native wildlife for food and space, and damaging ecosystems. Invasive animals like the quagga mussel also clog propellers and damage boats, and invasive plants such as floating pennywort block up waterways restricting navigation and increasing the risk of flooding.
Invasive species can be small and hard to spot so are easily spread between waterbodies on damp boats, equipment and clothing, and some can survive out of water for over two weeks in damp conditions.
We all want to protect the environment and activities we enjoy, you can help by remembering to Check, Clean, Dry your boat, clothing and equipment when you leave the water. It’s even more important to Check, Clean, Dry if you’re visiting a new waterbody at home or abroad to make sure you don’t bring any plants or animals back with you. Make sure everything is clean and has been dried thoroughly before you use it again elsewhere.
Check, Clean, Dry
Check boats, equipment and clothing after leaving the water for mud, aquatic animals or plant material. Remove anything you find and leave it at the site. Reapply anti fouling annually.
Clean everything thoroughly as soon as you can, paying attention to ropes, bilges, trailers, and areas that are damp and hard to access. Use hot water if you can.
Dry – drain water from every part of your boat and trailer before leaving the site. Dry everything for as long as possible before using elsewhere as some invasive plants and animals can survive for two weeks in damp conditions.