The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has progressively developed a world-class (ISO 14001) Environmental Management System for their operations in the Antarctic and the sub-Antarctic. AAD quarantine procedures under this system have been very effective at minimising the risk of alien species introductions to Macquarie Island in recent years.
Following the success of the Macquarie Island pest eradication program the AAD remains focused on preventing reintroduction of vertebrate pests, and recognises the threat posed by other invasive plants and animals. There are a number of weed species on New Zealand sub-Antarctic islands which are currently not known to occur on Macquarie Island.
To ensure AAD expeditioners travelling to Macquarie Island via New Zealand sub-Antarctic islands represent the lowest possible risk of introducing non-native species from other sub-Antarctic islands, the following procedure has been developed.
- Expeditioners travelling to Macquarie Island will be issued with two sets of clothing: one for exclusive use on Macquarie Island (includes red Survival Bag) and one for use only on New Zealand sub-Antarctic islands. The second set will be referred to as the Tourist Clothing Template and will comprise: 1 x pair of socks; 1 x pair of gumboots; 1 x outer shell pants; 1 x outer shell jacket.
- Only Tourist Clothing Template boots, socks, outer shell pants and outer shell jacket may be worn ashore on New Zealand sub-Antarctic islands and this must be thoroughly cleaned (including gumboots) and checked for seeds, dirt or propagules on return to the vessel. Mid-layer clothing contained in the red survival bag may only be worn ashore on NZ islands when worn under the Tourist Clothing Template clothing.
- All clothing and equipment used on NZ sub-Antarctic island will be inspected by the New Zealand Department of Conservation or Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Services representative on board the vessel and must be packed separately from all other clothing in the dedicated bag provided.
- On arrival at Macquarie Island expeditioners are to wear their AAD issued Macquarie Island clothing ashore (red AAD Survival Bag must be carried at all times).
- On arrival at Macquarie Island, all expeditioners’ cabin baggage, including Red Survival Bag and Tourist Clothing Bag, are to be presented to the nominated Biosecurity Officer for inspection.
- Tourist Clothing Template is not to be used on Macquarie Island and will be collected upon arrival at the Biosecurity checkpoint, and packed and stored for return to Australia on the following AAD voyage.
- Expeditioners returning to Australia on tourist vessels will be issued with Tourist Clothing Template for their return voyage. This should consigned as cargo and held on station for use only during the return voyage.
- Expeditioners returning to Australia on tourist vessels at short notice or unplanned will be issued with Tourist Clothing Template from station stocks.