Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Fanworms found again in Tauranga Harbour

Fanworms found again in Tauranga Harbour

Divers from Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) and University of Waikato will start searching high risk areas of Tauranga Harbour this week for the unwanted marine pest Mediterranean fanworm (Sabella spallanzanii).

The search has been prompted by the find of three Mediterranean fanworm individuals last week, during routine marine biosecurity surveillance work commissioned by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). Two fanworms were found in Sulphur Point Marina and one in Bridge Marina.

“It’s really disappointing to find this pest in our harbour again,” said Warwick Murray, General Manager Natural Resource Operations for Regional Council.

“Our team put in a huge effort to contain this pest when it was first found here last year and we’ll work with MPI do the same again this time.”

“We all want to keep Tauranga Harbour healthy, but it’s boat owners that can make the biggest difference in preventing the spread of marine pests. We need both local and visiting boaties to be vigilant by keeping their anti-fouling paint in good order and ensuring their hull, trailer and fishing gear is thoroughly clean before they travel to a new region or harbour,” he said.

Mediterranean fanworm was first detected in Tauranga Harbour in September 2013 when a single specimen was found by a diver in Pilot Bay. A further four fanworms were found during subsequent dive surveys. One was on the hull of a boat that was also infested with clubbed tunicate, another marine pest. Clubbed tunicates were also found on the hull of a second boat. Both boats had recently travelled to Tauranga from Auckland, and were hauled out for cleaning as soon as they were discovered.

“Once we know just how numerous and widespread the Mediterranean fanworms are, we’ll put a plan in place to contain and manage the problem,” said Mr Murray.

“In the meantime, Tauranga-based boaties can help us to prevent any further spread through the region by taking extra care to clean their gear before heading down the coast or into a new part of the harbour,” Mr Murray said.

The initial dive survey is expected be completed by the end of next week, subject to favourable weather conditions and water clarity. The divers will methodically search both marinas where the fanworms were found last week.
The Mediterranean fanworm grows inside a tube it makes itself and can grow to more than 40cm in length. If established, it can grow in dense clumps, competing with native filter-feeders for food and space. In high densities it is likely to impact on mussels, oysters and scallops. It can also interfere with boating, aquaculture, and recreational pursuits.

Along with Auckland Harbour, Mediterranean fanworm is also found in Lyttleton and Whangarei harbours, was discovered on two barges in Coromandel Harbour last year, a vessel in Waikawa Bay earlier this year, and is the subject of an elimination programme currently underway in Nelson Marina.

For more on the Mediterranean fanworm, visit www.mpi.govt.nz where a Mediterranean fanworm factsheet is available.

A boat owner’s guide to preventing the spread of marine pests is available at http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/files/enter/ships/clean-boats-brochure.pdf


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news