Responding to new and established marine pests

Response is generally about minimising the impacts of a new marine pest. Ideally this means eradication is considered but it may also include options to contain or slow the spread, or suppress the population. The case study below on the marine sea squirt Pyura doppelgangera provides an example of responding to a new marine pest.

If a new marine pest is found, MPI will determine the most appropriate response according to a decisions framework that has been developed. 2672  The Biosecurity Response Knowledge Base framework contains processes, standards and other resources for leading and managing biosecurity responses in New Zealand.

A Response Prioritisation Tool has been developed which is used to help determine whether or not to initiate a response. The tool provides an opportunity to evaluate the importance of the risk organism, in terms of economic, environmental, health and socio-cultural impacts. The complexity of the response is also evaluated including:

  • What is the current distribution of the organism in New Zealand?
  • What is the ability of the organism to spread and establish?
  • To what degree do the methods exist for detection?
  • To what degree will movement controls slow the spread or contain the organism?
  • Do methods exist to control or eliminate the organism?
  • What level and skill of human resource is required and are they accessible?
  • Are the tools and equipment required for taking action available or accessible?

Northland Regional Council is currently collaborating with a science provider to test the use of ultra- sonic sound as a way of destroying biofouling on structures and hulls. Developing such innovative technologies is an important part of arming the Council, and the region, with a suite of marine biosecurity protection tools.

  1. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, 2008

Last updated at 2:11PM on February 25, 2015