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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

Parks Victoria Ranger Kelton Goyne with Acacia linearifolia Click to view the news RSS feed.

New Wattle Species for Victoria

29 Aug 2014

A species of wattle not previously found in Victoria has been discovered in the north east, in Mount Lawson State Park near the New South Wales border. Acacia linearifolia is a wattle with very narrow, long and straightphyllodes or leaves. Local Parks Victoria Ranger Kelton Goyne discovered about six trees…

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Please note there is no Hanami Day event this year

20 Sep 2014 12:00am - 21 Sep 2014 12:00am

There will be no Hanami Day event this year, but visitors are encouraged to enjoy the gardens anytime during the cherry blossom flowering season that usually occurs across 2-3 weeks in September. Good places to enjoy the flowers include: George Tindale Memorial Gardens, Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens and the National…

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Kooyoora Wildflower Show

20 Sep 2014 12:00am - 21 Sep 2014 12:00am

Local wildflower display, bus tours, presentations, photographic competition, plant and local products sales, activities and more. Lunch, morning and afternoon tea will be available. Location: Inglewood Eucy Museum 20 Grant Street North, Inglewood

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Westerfolds parkrun

20 Sep 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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Glen Nayook Working Bee

21 Sep 2014 9:00am-11:00am

General maintenance of the reserve. Morning tea provided. Working bees are held on Sundays at Glen Nayook Reserve at the end of Paynter Road, Neerim Junction. GPS location S 327 55 623 - E 145 56 632.