Invasive Marine Pests
Invasive marine pests such as sea squirt and fanworm are a threat to the Marlborough coastal environment and aquaculture industry.
Pest invaders fall into two categories: fouling species that compete with marine life for resources and space, or exotic diseases that infect fish and shellfish.
Council works closely with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), neighbouring councils and marine industry groups in the Top of the South Marine Biosecurity Partnership to protect the Sounds from these pests.
The key threat is from fouling organisms such as the sea squirt (Styela clava) and Mediterranean fanworm (Sabella spallanzanii). These are established elsewhere in New Zealand and are rapidly finding their way to the Sounds by hitch-hiking on the bottom of boats.
Unfortunately Styela clava is now well established in Picton and Waikawa but Council and other agencies are working together to keep the spread under control and detect any new arrivals.
To stop any further spread make sure your boat hull is clean before travelling to other parts of the Sounds and antifoul your hull once a year. Ideally there should be no more than a light slime layer at any time. If you think you have found a marine pest call the MPI Hotline 0800 809 966.
Small Scale Management Programme (SSMP) for Mediterranean fanworm (Sabella spallanzanii)
On 6 July 2017, Marlborough District Council declared a small scale management programme under section 100V of the Biosecurity Act 1993 for the unwanted organism and marine pest Mediterranean fanworm (Sabella spallazanii).
The purpose of this small-scale management programme is to set out the measures that Marlborough District Council will use to manage the impacts of Sabella in the district in the next three years. Measures include: surveillance, monitoring and information collecting, direct control of any Sabella found, district-wide advocacy initiatives, spread risk mitigation practices through the aquaculture industry and regulation where appropriate under the Biosecurity Act.