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

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news