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Marine pests

The European fan worm

The European fan worm

2 years ago from Unknown LDAP UserParks Victoria

Location: Marine pests

Japanese Kelp

Japanese Kelp

2 years ago from Unknown LDAP UserParks Victoria

Location: Marine pests

Steve Tuohy with invasive seaweed and seastar

Steve Tuohy with invasive seaweed and seastar

2 years ago from Unknown LDAP UserParks Victoria

Location: Marine pests

Northern Pacific Seastar

Northern Pacific Seastar

2 years ago from Unknown LDAP UserParks Victoria

Location: Marine pests

Marine pests are non-native plants or animals which can have a detrimental impact on native marine ecosystems. They are introduced into Australian waters via human activities such as shipping. Not all introduced species will become a pest as they need to be able to establish themselves in the new environment. Many established introduced species have the ability to produce huge numbers of spores or offspring which allows them to spread and increase population sizes quickly.

Both plant and animal marine pests are undesirable because they can have a big impact on marine ecosystems and human activities. They can disrupt food chains, endanger native marine life and alter ecosystem processes. There can also be direct effects on human lifestyle such as illness and damage to marine economic benefits gained from aquaculture and fishing. They can make the environment less attractive, making activities such as diving and snorkelling less enjoyable.

Marine pests come in all shapes and sizes. Over 250 are known to have been introduced to Australian waters with over 100 species introduced to Port Phillip Bay.

Report any sighting of marine pests to the Department of Environment and Primary Industries on 136 186.

Northern Pacific seastar

The Northern Pacific seastar, Asterias amurensis, is mostly yellow in colour, with varying amounts of purple on the arms. The five arms taper and curl upwards at the ends, unlike native seastar species. This characteristic is useful for distinguishing the Northern Pacific seastar from native species such as the zigzag star and eleven-armed seastar.

The first confirmed sighting of the Northern Pacific seastar in Port Phillip bay was in August 1995. It is thought that was introduced to Tasmania through ballast water from Japan and subsequently introduced into Port Phillip Bay from Tasmania. The Port Phillip Bay infestation is unfortunately well established and has negative impacts on native species and marine industries. Measures to stop the spread of the seastar to other areas in Victoria are in place. For more information see theDepartment of Environment and Primary Industries website.

European Fan Worm

The European fan worm, Sabella spallanzanii, is a filter feeding tube worm which can grow up to 40cm long. The feeding fan is composed of two layers of feeding tentacles, one of which is spiraled. These tentacles can range in colour from uniform white to striped orange, purple and white.

The first recording of the European fan worm in Australia was in 1965 in Western Australia. By mid-1980’s it had reached Port Phillip Bay and it is now very common, especially on pier piles. This worm has the potential to alter ecosystem processes and compete with native species for food and space. It is also a problem for the aquaculture industry as it is a nuisance fouler.

Japanese Kelp

Japanese Kelp, Undaria pinnatifida, is a seaweed native to the Japan Sea and is found along the coasts of Japan, Korea and parts of China. It is a golden brown seaweed which can grow to anywhere between 0.5m to 3m long. Most disconcerting is the speed at which the kelp grows; it has the capacity to overgrow and exclude native seaweeds.

The seaweed was first discovered in Australia off the east coast of Tasmania in 1988, however evidence suggests it was likely to have been present in Tasmania since 1982. Since this time, the kelp has become established within Port Phillip Bay and, more recently has been discovered in Apollo Bay. Once it has become established it is hard to eradicate, however removal efforts in Apollo Bay have been promising.

Further Information

Department of Environment and Primary Industries
Museum Victoria
Marine Pests

Spotted-tailed Quoll caught on camera in Great Otway NP Click to view the news RSS feed.

Endangered Spotted-tailed Quoll sighted in Great Otway National Park

07 Aug 2014

An endangered Spotted-tailed Quoll has been sighted in the Great Otway National Park for the first time in 24 years. Related to the Tasmanian Devil, and colloquially known as the ‘Tiger Quoll’, the animal was caught on a remote camera set up as part of an ongoing program by Parks…

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Westerfolds parkrun

23 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.

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Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

24 Aug 2014 10:00am-11:00am

Take a journey of discovery along the Fosters Gully Nature Walk where the forests and undergrowth provide food and shelter for many species of birds and animals. If you are quiet you may be able to see and hear many of the species of wildlife that live in the park.…

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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.

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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…