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Boats welcome at the Prom after Seastar scare

Friday 2 November, 2012

Tidal River in Wilsons Promontory National Park will reopen to recreational water craft on Thursday, 1 November 2012 after the Northern Pacific Seastar caused restrictions earlier this year.

Chief Ranger Helen Dixon said that the decision to reopen the river to vessels and water craft was based on analyses of Northern Pacific Seastar larvae, which were been detected both in Tidal River and Norman Bay.

“The Northern Pacific Seastar we found in Tidal River were most likely from currents from Port Phillip Bay, rather than form boats in the river itself.”

“We have also been able to restore access to Norman Beach, which was restricted due to safety and risk issues following severe flood damage in March last year.”

“We are however reminding visitors to continue to wash and dry all equipment as they enter the river. This is vital in containing the spread. We encourage all users of Tidal River to take this precautionary approach.”

  • Marine pests including the Northern Pacific Seastar are easily spread from one part of the coast to another by people and wet equipment.
  • Boats, kayaks and canoes, wetsuits, fishing gear, and other equipment that remain wet can spread fertilised eggs, larvae, or small animals or plants, to new locations.
  • All equipment used in marine areas should be washed in freshwater after use then thoroughly dried to reduce the risk of spreading marine pests.
  • This is particularly important for people moving any equipment used in areas like Port Phillip Bay to other areas such as the Prom.

Sightings of suspected Northern Pacific Seastars outside of Wilsons Promontory National Park or Port Phillip Bay can be reported to the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) customer service centre on 136 186. DSE recommends taking a photo of the suspected seastar as well as the specific location where it was observed would assist in any investigation.

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