Indonesian bulk carrier DL Marigold has been ordered to leave port of Tauranga in New Zealand waters after its hull was judged to be threat to bio-security.
The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has sent the ship packing from Tauranga because of its dirty hull - the first time this has happened.
MPI ordered the Panama-registered DL Marigold from New Zealand after MPI divers discovered dense fouling of barnacles and tube worms on the ship's hull and other underwater surfaces. It gave the ship 24 hours to depart.
"The longer the vessel stayed in New Zealand, the greater chance there was for unwanted marine species to spawn or break away from the ship. So we had to act quickly," local media reported
Steve Gilbert, border clearance director at the MPI as saying.
Gilbert describes it as a "severe contamination" and says the DL Marigold won't be allowed to return and unload its shipment until it has had a good clean.
The DL Marigold had arrived from Indonesia
on March 4 and had been due to stay in New Zealand waters for nine days before leaving for Fiji.
New rules will require all international vessels to arrive in New Zealand with a clean hull from May 2018.