Invasive marine pests
Invasive marine pests are a threat to Marlborough’s coastal environment and aquaculture industry. The invasive species can fall into two categories: fouling species (such as the clubbed tunicate Styela clava and Mediterranean fanworm) and exotic diseases (such as Bonamia ostrae) that can infect fish or shellfish.
Managing marine pests are far more complex than terrestrial pest species given the nature of the marine environment.
At the New Zealand border, Biosecurity New Zealand/Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), are charged with minimising the risk of marine pests new to New Zealand making their way through. Within New Zealand, some marine pests are only established in specific parts of the country and the various regions, in conjunction with MPI, are working to keep them only to those regions.
Council works closely with partners through the Top of the South Marine Biosecurity Partnership to manage the threat of marine pests. Council is also actively implementing an operational programme of surveillance and response aimed at preventing the establishment of Mediterranean fanworm in particular.
To stop any further spread make sure your boat hull is clean before travelling to other parts of the Sounds and regularly maintain your antifouling system. Ideally there should be no more than a slime layer at any time. If you think you have found something unusual in the marine environment, call the MPI Hotline 0800 809 966.