Caulerpa invasion: new rules restricting boating and fishing to stop spread of pest seaweed in Aotea
Biosecurity New Zealand is placing legal controls on parts of Aotea Great Barrier Island in a bid to contain the invasive seaweed Caulerpa brachypus, while the local Mana Whenua governance group on Aotea are supporting a dual response by imposing a rāhui over the same areas.
How much do Auckland boat owners know about marine biosecurity? And does this translate to improvements in practice? Auckland Council has now released the results of its second annual boat owner survey. The good news is it shows significant improvement in terms of understanding and uptake of marine biosecurty principles, which translates directly to better protection for our coastal environments.
The Heron Construction Company is a commercial vessel operator that takes marine biosecurity seriously. It goes to great efforts to keep its barges, tugs and dredgers clean when they move up and down the country to build and maintain ports, wharves and marinas.
New Zealand’s efforts to protect its coastlines from marine pests is pioneering and scientists world-wide are continuing to build on the field of research.
When New Zealand introduced requirements for all boats entering the country to meet strict conditions relating to both ballast water and biofouling, it became the first country in the world to take active steps to protect its coastlines from marine pests.
Every decision made in New Zealand has been done with the confidence of scientific knowledge that confirms it is the right thing to do, and marine scientists, both here and abroad, are continuously adding to a body of research, developing detection technologies and management approaches to help keep our coastlines safe from marine pests.
The updated ‘Knowledge’ page on Marinepests.nz has links to a number of important studies on marine pests and suggestions of places where you can find out more about work undertaken by the scientific community that is working on these issues.
Marine biosecurity is still a relatively new field and it’s of global environmental importance. The aim is to protect our marine environment. This in turn protects our fisheries, our aquaculture, our tourism industry – and also the places we love visiting and the things we love doing when we visit them.