Marine pest Seven Arm Seastar found in Beware Reef
Friday 17 August, 2012
The invasive Seven Arm Seastar (Astrostole scaber) has been discovered for the first time at the Beware Reef Marine Sanctuary in Far East Gippsland.
Members of the Friends of Beware Reef were conducting their regular Reef Life Survey of the sanctuary when they identified a Seven Arm Seastar.
The Friends Group are extremely proactive throughout the year reporting to the team at Parks Victoria with quality information such as marine pest discoveries and observations of illegal activities, as well as assisting in ongoing research programs.
Parks Victoria Team Leader Mr Mike Irvine said the Seven Arm Seastar is quite large. This particular specimen measured approximately 45-50cm in diameter. The seastars can grow up to 75cm in diameter, are blue-grey in colour with white spines and distinctive orange-coloured tube-feet (suckers).
The species is native to New Zealand, however populations have been detected in Tasmania and more recently the Cape Howe Marine National Park off the eastern extremity of Victoria.
“These populations are believed to have been introduced from New Zealand,” said Mr Irvine. “It would be difficult to pin-point exactly how the seastar arrived at Beware Reef and we are unsure at this stage of the population numbers”.
“Our focus now is on how we can manage this new marine pest and prevent any other new introductions of marine pests into Beware Reef Marine Sanctuary, as well as the other marine protected areas”.
Marine pests including the Seven Arm Seastar are easily spread from one part of the coast to another by people so visitors can help protect the marine environment by following simple precautions.
“Boats, jet skis, kayaks, canoes, wetsuits, fishing gear, and other equipment that remain wet can spread fertilised eggs, larvae, or small animals or plants, to new locations so all boats should be kept clean and all marine life clinging to the surface should be removed. As well, all equipment used in marine areas should be washed in freshwater after use then thoroughly dried to reduce the risk of spreading marine pests.”
For more information about the Seven Arm Seastar or aquatic pests in general, go to: www.dse.vic.gov.au/marinepests.
11 May 2013 10:00am - 8 Jun 2013 2:30pm
This course is an intensive introduction to Botanical Drawing and Painting. Develop observation skills and learn about tonal values, pencil and ink rendering, composition, colour, watercolour and gouache' Explore, develop and understand a variety of techniques to create your own detailed botanical studies. Time: Saturdays 11 May to 8 June, 5 x 4.5 hours = 20 …
19 May 2013 8:00am-3:00pm
An annual event where pets take their owners for a walk around the lake to raise funds to support RSPCA services.
22 May 2013 5:15pm-6:15pm
The bat count is held once a month at dusk when the whole colony of 10,000 -20,000 bats fly out to feed around Melbourne’s suburbs. New counters are very welcome and much appreciated. Experience is not necessary as training is provided on the night. Wear comfortable shoes for walking, dress …