Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Biosecurity New Zealand investigates ‘sea squirt’

6 October 2005

Biosecurity New Zealand investigates ‘sea squirt’ discovery

Photo supplied courtesy of Kevin Heasman of the Cawthron Institute - clubbed tunicate in Canada.

**********

Biosecurity New Zealand is investigating a confirmed find of the exotic marine pest the ‘clubbed tunicate’ (sea squirt), Styela clava in two New Zealand locations.

The clubbed tunicate has been found in Auckland at the Viaduct Harbour and in Lyttelton Harbour in Christchurch. The Auckland find was made recently by a visiting UK marine scientist and the Lyttelton specimen was located as a part of routine baseline port surveys undertaken by Biosecurity New Zealand.

The clubbed tunicate is a tough, leathery club-shaped organism that grows up to 160 mm long. It is a prolific breeder, spawning every 24 hours or so from maturity. The tunicate tends to settle in protected areas such as bays and harbours, out of wave action. It is frequently found on wharves, aquaculture structures and equipment, boat hulls, mooring lines and other man made structures.

The clubbed tunicate originated in Korea, but is now spread throughout much of the world, including parts of Australia. It can travel on the hulls of boats (hull-fouling) or in bilge water. Hull-fouling is the most likely source of its arrival into New Zealand.

Biosecurity New Zealand’s Senior Marine Adviser, Brendan Gould, says there are potentially significant impacts if the clubbed tunicate becomes established in New Zealand waters – particularly for the aquaculture industry.

“Clubbed tunicates can settle on lines and grow over shellfish cultures, including mussels and oysters. They compete for food and space and also predate on shellfish larvae.”

Mr Gould says Biosecurity New Zealand’s initial response is to survey the Viaduct Harbour and nearby Freemans Bay to determine just how widespread the organism is.

“We’re moving quickly to set up this delimiting survey and we should know the extent of the problem within a month.”

If necessary, the survey will extend to the whole Waitemata Harbour. A survey of the Lyttelton incursion will also be carried out.

Brendan Gould says work is also underway to have the clubbed tunicate declared an unwanted organism, which will allow Biosecurity New Zealand to implement control measures under the Biosecurity Act.

Potential treatment options will be investigated once it’s established how just how widespread the pest is. Overseas experience, however, has demonstrated clubbed tunicate is difficult to manage.

Biosecurity New Zealand will be asking the aquaculture industry, boaties and wharf users for help identifying any further clubbed tunicate. Awareness material with photographs and information about the pest is being prepared and will be circulated to those most likely to come across the clubbed tunicate.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

CTU 2021 Work Life Survey: COVID And Bullying Hit Workplaces Hard, Huge Support For Increased Sick Leave

New data from the CTU’s annual work life survey shows a snapshot of working people’s experiences and outlook heading out of 2020 and into the new year. Concerningly 42% of respondents cite workplace bullying as an issue in their workplace - a number ... More>>

Smelter: Tiwai Deal Gives Time For Managed Transition

Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed to working on a managed transition with the local community,” Grant Robertson said. More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Strong Job Ad Performance In Quarter Four

SEEK Quarterly Employment Report data shows a positive q/q performance with a 19% national growth in jobs advertised during Q4 2020, which includes October, November and December. Comparing quarter 4, 2020, with the same quarter in 2019 shows that job ad volumes are 7% lower...More>>

NIWA: 2020 - NZ’s 7th-warmest Year On Record

The nationwide average temperature for 2020, calculated using stations in NIWA’s seven-station temperature series which began in 1909, was 13.24°C (0.63°C above the 1981–2010 annual average). New Zealand’s hottest year on record remains 2016, when... More>>

Quotable Value New Zealand: Property Market Set To Cool From Sizzling To Warm In 2021

Nostradamus himself could not have predicted the strange series of events that befell our world in 2020 – nor the wild trajectory of New Zealand’s property market, which has gone from “doom and gloom” to “boom and Zoom” in record time. Even ... More>>

PriceSpy: Research Reveals How Shopping Behaviours Have Changed This Christmas

According to a new survey* from PriceSpy , almost 50 per cent of Kiwis are looking to shop locally this Christmas in light of Covid-19; The research also found consumers are changing their shopping habits, with one in seven (14 per cent) getting super-organised ... More>>