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


MAF Biosecurity NZ, iwi join forces to clear pest

MAF Biosecurity New Zealand and iwi join forces to clear marine pest

MAF Biosecurity New Zealand (MAFBNZ) begins work today with Far North iwi to clear a marine pest sea squirt from some of New Zealand’s most culturally significant coastal sites in Northland.

MAFBNZ Senior Marine Adviser Katherine Walls says the sea squirt Pyura praeputialis (known simply as Pyura) has been an aggressive invader of rocky shorelines where it has established outside of its native Australian habitat.

It was first detected at the remote Twilight Beach near Cape Maria van Diemen and MAFBNZ surveys have since found Pyura at a number of sites around the Far North coastline.

Because of the species’ ability to smother and displace native green shell mussels (surveys have already shown it growing over mussels in some Northland locations), the decision was made to test the effectiveness of removal techniques.

“Also taken into consideration was the presence of this introduced species in areas of high value to Maori,” says Ms Walls.

“MAFBNZ has already determined that fully eradicating this well established sea squirt is not feasible. There is, however, such a high level of interest in the local community that we consider there’s merit in trying to remove the species from some sites where population numbers are relatively low. This pilot treatment at a couple of sites will tell us whether it’s worthwhile attempting to manage Pyura at other places where numbers are low.”

The four day programme begins today with a workshop covering treatment measures and Pyura biology. Local iwi, Northland Regional Council and the Department of Conservation have been invited to attend.

From tomorrow four local people, working with a marine scientist who has been engaged by MAFBNZ, will spend three days clearing all visible Pyura from two locations - the Bluff at 90 Mile Beach and Whareana Bay. At the same time, a scientific control trial will also be carried out on a population at the entrance to Parengarenga Harbour, where one marked area will be treated and one left alone to compare results.

The field teams will be careful to completely remove all Pyura, bag specimens and dispose of them well away from the sea to avoid any re-infestation.
The programme will be repeated in six months and its effectiveness evaluated. Ultimately it will be up to communities involved to determine if they wish to continue with management of this sea squirt after the trial.

“This teamwork is an exciting development which supports MAFBNZ’s goal of enabling communities to lead long-term management of pest incursions, raising local awareness of biosecurity issues and preparing communities ahead of any future marine biosecurity events," Ms Walls says.

Full information on Pyura is at:

To report an exotic pest or disease call the MAF Biosecurity hotline on 0800 80 99 66


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


SEA: Another First For Solar Energy In New Zealand

The Sustainable Energy Association NZ (SEANZ) congratulates Sunergise on the commissioning of the Sunergise Kapuni Solar Power Plant, the largest in the country... More>>

Accenture: More Boomers Than Zoomers Want To Work From Home

While often associated with tech savvy Gen Z or Zoomers, new global research from Accenture shows that the push for more flexible working environments is being led by Gen Xers and Baby Boomers... More>>

Maritime Union: Deepening Supply Chain Crisis Requires Action

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says the global COVID-19 pandemic exposed pre-existing weaknesses in our logistics sector, and created enormous problems... More>>

Banking: Westpac New Zealand To Remain Part Of Westpac Group

Westpac New Zealand Limited (WNZL) remains part of Westpac Group following a decision for the two businesses not to demerge. Westpac Group Chief Executive Officer, Peter King, said: “After a detailed review, we believe a demerger of the WNZL business would not be in the best interests of shareholders... More>>

Mercury: Enters Into Binding Agreements To Acquire Trustpower’s Retail Business

Mercury NZ Limited (Mercury) has announced that it has entered into binding agreements with Trustpower Limited (Trustpower, NZX:TPW) to acquire Trustpower’s retail business for NZ$441 million... More>>


ASB: New Zealanders Missing Out On Hundreds Of Millions In KiwiSaver Government Contributions

New Zealanders have just over a week to ensure they’re eligible for the maximum annual government KiwiSaver contribution... More>>