New accreditation program incorporates marine biosecurity education
Biosecurity New Zealand reports that NIWA’s team of divers recently completed some inspection dives in Aotea Great Barrier waters to check how effective a salt treatment has been and to gauge the current state of the incursion.
The team checked the plots in Whangaparapara and Tryphena where they had applied a thick layer of coarse salt back in December. Overseas this has proved the most effective treatment option available.
In both areas, no Caulerpa was seen inside the treated areas whereas extensive Caulerpa cover was visible outside the treatment plots. This seems to demonstrate that the salt treatment works, however we are still waiting on a final report on just how effective it’s been.
You can read about surveillance findings, and more detail about the treatment success, using this link.
In January 2020 a visiting photographer was snorkelling over the estuary mussel bed in the Whangapoua estuary, Aotea Great Barrier when he spotted what he thought was an Asian Paddle Crab (Charybdis japonica) – an aggressive marine pest that reproduces rapidly and predates on our native crabs and shellfish. This incident, which happened on the last remaining estuarine bed of mussels in the Hauraki Gulf, sparked a research project involving senior students from a local school.
Destinations on both the west and east coasts of the central North Island are set to gain new and upgraded facilities for vessel maintenance, which will be helpful for commercial vessels in particular.
This includes a new boat harbour announced for Whakatāne. Named Te Rāhui Herenga Waka, it will include a 75-100 tonne travelift and is primarily for commercial boats. Currently, larger vessels travel to Tauranga for a haul-out. Whanganui is also set to receive a 360 tonne mobile boat hoist as part of Te Pūwaha – Whanganui’s Port Revitalisation.
Further boat maintenance infrastructure including a larger travel lift is also expected as part of the Nelson Marina Masterplan
The war against marine pests will rapidly get easier if we can prevent them from growing on artificial structures like marina pontoons and wharf piles. The Marine Biosecurity Toolbox – a New Zealand led research programme - has some promising leads. We talk with Oliver Floerl, co-lead of the Marine Biosecurity Toolbox research programme with the Cawthron Institute about extensive research underway in New Zealand to make this happen.