Marine Pests and Diseases

Not all introduced species have a significant impact on our marine life. Some find it hard to establish or compete in a new environment, or fall prey to our native species. However, many have the capacity to cause massive damage by displacing our native flora and fauna, by predating on native species or by becoming serious pests to our marine industries. These species are known as marine pests.

There are a number of recognised marine pests in Tasmania including the Northern Pacific Sea Star (Asterias amurensis), Wakame - Japanese Kelp (Undaria pinnatifida) and the European Green Crab (Carcinus maenas).

Early Detection and Emergency Reponse

​​The Department utilises a range of information sources to maximise the potential of an early detection of any new marine pests. Community reports are an important part of our early detection capacity. When a new marine pest has been detected, national arrangements are in place to assist Tasmania mount an emergency response where it is deemed feasible and appropriate. It should be noted that there have been very few successful eradication programs for marine pests.​​​

In this Topic

  • Pest Identification
    Knowing how to identify marine pests can be a useful tool in preventing the spread of these pests.
  • Pest Prevention
    How to prevent the spread of marine pests including ballast water management requirements.
  • Undaria Action Plan
    Undaria pinnatifida is a brown macroalgae, originally endemic to Japan. It is suspected that it was introduced to Tasmania via discharge of ship ballast water.

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