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Marine Biosecurity: Gotchya! A good news story - making a difference

by Clean Below? Good to Go 12 Nov 20:22 NZDT 12 November 2021
The Bay of Plenty is a boaties' heaven – but we need to protect it © istock.com/backyardproduction

Here is an example of how surveillance is working to protect our coastlines from marine pests:

The invasive Lightbulb sea squirt (Clavelina lepadiformis) was detected at Sulphur Point Marina in Tauranga on Wednesday 21st October 2020. It was removed by hand, but regrowth was detected for several months later. In response, the area – part of a walkway pontoon - was wrapped for four weeks.

This was successful and no Clavelina lepadiformis has been noted post wrap removal. The same species was detected on a vessel in Tauranga Bridge Marina in March 2021. The vessel was removed and cleaned.

Last summer the marine biosecurity team at Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana completed two full rounds of marina surveillance last summer. Out of 1896 vessel hulls and 20.6km of marina walkway pontoons checked, only four vessels were found to be hosting a marine pest, Sabella spallanzanii, and these were removed and cleaned immediately. In December 145 moorings and 171 vessels were also checked in high risk locations around Tauranga Harbour. No marine pests were found.

Boaties can get info on keeping their boat cleaned and well maintained, find a local haulout, and check up on the rules, at www.marinepests.nz

If you spot Clavelina anywhere, please report it using this link.

Get more info about marine biosecurity in NZ at marinepests.nz

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