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Tidal River pestered again by unwelcome visitor

Friday 31 August, 2018

Discovery of Northern Pacific Seastar at the Prom

The notorious marine pest, the Northern Pacific Seastar, originally found in 2012, has once again been spotted at Tidal River at Wilsons Promontory National Park.

In 2012, Parks Victoria implemented an intensive management response, where all visible Northern Pacific Seastars were removed from Tidal River.

Ongoing diving and monitoring surveys have been ongoing, however divers discovered 3 Northern Pacific Seastars within Tidal River during recent monitoring surveys in April and August this year.

Aside from natural dispersal, marine pests are often transported by people. The seastars attach to boat hulls and can survive on objects out of water.

Divers, boat operators and visitors can help prevent the spread of these marine pests, through the Check, Clean, Dry approach-

  • Check your equipment for any pests
  • Clean it with fresh-water to eliminate any you can’t see
  • Dry it thoroughly before moving to a new marine location.

Because of the risk marine pests pose to the marine environment, preventing their spread to new areas is a management priority.  Visitors can report sightings of marine pests outside of a known range to or call 13 6186.  Reports should include a photograph, location and date of sighting.

Quotes, attributed to Parks Victoria marine ranger Chloe McSkimming:

“The Northern Pacific Seastar can significantly impact a marine ecosystem by eating the native marine life. It is critical to remove any that are found. So far, we have done that, but the threat of new arrivals persists.”

“Many marine pests have juvenile stages that are too small for divers and visitors to see.  They can easily be picked up by marine vessels and equipment such as ropes, anchors and fishing tackle.  Subsequently, they are transported to other geographic areas spreading the infestation.”

Media enquiries
Melanie McVey-Di Lazzaro
0459 818 451

Parks Victoria media centre