Marine Pest Research
There have been hundreds of non-native species introduced into Australian coastal waters by human activities. Generally these incursions occur from international shipping, so invasions tend to be centred around ports. They can then spread to surrounding waters either through natural dispersal or via human activities.
Marine national parks and sanctuaries are valued for their diversity of native species. Unfortunately, some Marine Protected Areas have already been invaded by marine pests, particularly those in Port Phillip Bay.
There are a range of marine pests found in Victorian waters, some of the more common include; Northern Pacific seastar (Asterias amurensis), European fan worm (Sabella spallanzanii), European green crab (Carcinus maenas) and Japanese Kelp (Undaria pinnatifida).
As part of a project supported by the Australian Research Council Linkage program, Parks Victoria is working with the University of Melbourne to monitor and research marine pests found within Victoria. The project aims to:
- investigate the chance of target pest species invading various MNP&S
- investigate the likelihood of detecting target species
- assess the impacts of invasion on valued attributes of MNP&S
- design a robust and cost-effective monitoring program.
The results from this project will allow the resources to be efficiently allocated to actions and areas which are most at risk and where there is the greatest potential for eradication.