You are here

Home > About > News and media releases > Invasive marine pests on the menu for Port Phillip boaties this summer

News

Invasive marine pests on the menu for Port Phillip boaties this summer

Wednesday 12 December, 2012

The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and Parks Victoria are encouraging Port Phillip Bay boat owners to join the fight to stop invasive marine pests from spreading this summer.

DSE Marine Policy Officer John Barker said: “There are over a hundred introduced marine species found in Port Phillip Bay that are not yet widespread.”

“The most serious pests are the Northern Pacific Seastars (Asterias amurensis), the invasive seaweed Undaria pinnatifida (best known as Wakame, an ingredient in Japanese cooking) and the European Fanworm (Sabella spallanzanii). It’s important that boaties take precautions to reduce the risk of spreading these pests,” Mr Barker said.

“Undaria and Northern Pacific Seastars could have a big impact on Victoria’s marine ecosystems and so we want everyone who has a boat moored in Port Phillip Bay and Apollo Bay to clean their hulls and other gear that has been left in the water before they travel down the coast.”

“Spring and Summer are the peak growing and breeding seasons for Undaria and Northern Pacific Seastars and it would only take one boat to discharge pests in ballast water, or travel with anti-fouling paint in poor condition to spread these pests even further along Victoria’s coast.”

Some of the precautions that owners of moored boats can take before leaving the Bay include: 

  • Dislodge and bin anything growing on the hull (including plants)
  • Drain water from the boat and gear (don’t let water from the Bay drain into new coastal locations)
  • Apply an approved anti-fouling paint where needed

Precautions that trailer boat owners can take include:

  • Wash down with freshwater after use
  • Dry your boat and equipment before use in locations outside the Bay

Parks Victoria’s Manager Marine Science Steffan Howe said:“Undaria, European Fanworm and Northern Pacific Seastars are fast growing marine pests that pose a threat to the marine environment including Otway coast marine protected areas, Wilson Promontory and Western Port.”

“Boats are a major factor in spreading invasive marine pests and we need everyone who is taking a boat out of Port Phillip Bay and Apollo Bay this summer to be vigilant. Any sightings of Undaria outside Port Phillip Bay and Apollo Bay, or sightings of Northern Pacific Seastars outside of Port Phillip Bay should be reported to DSE or Parks Victoria,” Dr Howe said.

For more information call DSE on 136 186 or visit www.dse.vic.gov.au/marinepests

What's on

Click to view RSS Feed

Westerfolds parkrun

30 Aug 2014 8:00am-9:00am

parkrun is free, weekly, 5km timed run that is open to everyone - walkers, runners, families and dogs are all welcome! Westerfolds parkrun occurs every Saturday morning. We're based near the main carpark off the Fitzsimons Lane entrance, and the course is run entirely on sealed paths within the park.

Click to view RSS Feed

Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

31 Aug 2014 9:30am-10:20am

A superb loop walk that winds through woodland, wet heathland & along boardwalks. Along the way you will encounter a variety of flora including hakeas, wattles, tea-trees, mistletoe, swamp bush pea and button grass. This guided walk is run by Friends of Bunyip State Park.

Click to view RSS Feed

Grampians Conservation Explorer

1 Sep 2014 8:30am - 4 Sep 2014 5:30pm

We will take you behind the scenes on this exclusive, small group adventure as you work alongside a Parks Victoria Ranger to 'track and protect' the elusive Brush-tailed Phascogales, which are on Victoria's threatened species list. You will sample some of the region's best wines, see ancient Aboriginal rock art…

Click to view RSS Feed

Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

2 Sep 2014 10:00am-11:00am

Enjoy the fresh air of this beautiful park and get an insight into the park’s fascinating history, flora and fauna. This free guided walk run by Friends of Tarra Bulga National Park will lead you across the famous Corrigan Suspension Bridge which stretches through the rainforest canopy, and on either…