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No sea squirt found in Northland

No sea squirt found in Northland or Greymouth surveillance

9 November 2005

Divers searching ports and marinas around Northland and Greymouth for the invasive sea squirt, the clubbed tunicate, have not found the organism in their surveillance.

Biosecurity New Zealand is currently searching a number of locations around the country that are considered at potential risk of having the sea squirt present.

To date it has been found in areas throughout the Hauraki Gulf in Auckland, in Lyttelton Port and in one location in the wider Lyttelton Harbour.

In Northland, the NIWA contractors examined the Whangarei town port; the Marsden Point wharf and oil refinery wharf; the Whangarei Town Basin and adjacent marinas; the Portland Wharf; and Mangawhai Harbour.

No specimens of the clubbed tunicate were found.

NIWA has today searched marine structures in Greymouth and made no sighting of the organism there.

Biosecurity New Zealand says while the sea squirt was not detected in the areas that were searched, it has to be understood that the marine environment is vast and it is not feasible to look everywhere. The agency is, however, targeting the likely sites of infestation in the identified high-risk locations.


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