Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Mutated Seaweed A Major Threat

A mutated species of tropical seaweed is posing a serious threat to New Zealand's biosecurity, Green MP and Biosecurity Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street said today.

The threat came to light after the species Caulerpa Taxifolia, became a pest in New South Wales.

"This formerly harmless plant has become highly invasive and now threatens huge ecological damage if it reaches New Zealand waters. It is already a major problem in Australia and it can only be a matter of time before it spreads across the Tasman."

The seaweed was cloned and bred in Germany, France and Monaco for use in aquariums but at some stage it mutated to develop a tolerance for cold water and later was accidentally released into the sea.

It has now infested areas of the Australian coast, where the situation has got so bad that the authorities are banning nets and boats in some of the infected areas.

The mutated species of the seaweed is dangerous because of its tendency to form dense carpets, pushing out native seaweeds and sea grasses and displacing shellfish and crustaceans. Mr Ewen-Street pointed to reports that said the seaweed was already widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, where it was wreaking havoc with various eco-systems. He said the issue highlights how unpredictable organisms can be when they are artificially altered from their natural state and become susceptible to mutations.

"It is vitally important that the Ministry of Fisheries treat the threat seriously, and take all the steps necessary to prevent our biosecurity being breached," he said.

"We simply cannot afford, either economically or ecologically, to let this species become established in New Zealand."

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote. We also acknowledge the men who supported the cause and voted for the Bill to pass.

“Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.

“Aotearoa New Zealand has a female Prime Minister, we have women in cabinet. And I’m here as Acting Minister because the Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter is on maternity leave. New Zealand is a good place to be a woman!” More>>

 
 

Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>

ALSO:

'Post-Settlement Era': Māori Crown Agency To Be Established

Cabinet has approved the final scope of the Māori Crown portfolio and agreed to establish an agency to oversee Government’s work with Māori in a post-settlement era, announced Crown/ Māori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Military Roles In Iraq & Afghanistan

The politics of the deployment extension have degenerated into a slanging match about whether the previous National government was right or wrong to make the initial commitment to Iraq – and whether the extension is a responsible thing given our joint training role in Iraq with Australia, or is hypocritical in the light of prior statements made by a previous Labour leader... More>>

ALSO:

Commissioner To Be Appointed: Govt To Dismiss Board Of Whitireia And WelTec

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has made a preliminary decision to appoint a Commissioner to Whitireia and WelTec to address the two polytechnics’ financial woes. More>>

ALSO:

Open Government Action Plan: Government To Proactively Release Cabinet Papers

The Cabinet papers will be released no later than 30 business days after a Cabinet decision. This process will be in place for Cabinet papers lodged from 1 January 2019... More>>

ALSO:

NZ Initiative: Evidence Of "Huge" Government Waste

It is not so much that spending is being literally wasted. Rather the best performing countries are achieving much better outcomes relative to their spending. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels