Marine pests are invasive species that are not native to our Australian marine environment. They damage this environment by competing with native species for food and space, eating native species and smothering large areas of habitat. Marine pests can be transported by commercial and recreational vessels, attaching themselves to hulls, internal seawater systems, damp spaces or boating gear such as anchors, ropes and buckets. With more than one million recreational vessels in Australia, there is huge opportunity for pests to be inadvertently spread as boats move from one place to another.
How can you help?
It is important to detect marine pests early because it is almost impossible to eradicate them once they become established. You can help us! Free identification kits are available to help you act as part of a state-wide early warning system. For more information please visit NRM levy funded Reef Watch.
In response to the threat that marine pests pose, research is also seeking new ways of detecting these pests.
Molecular tools for detection of marine pests 2011
Final diagnostic PCR assays for the detection of marine pests 2010