Learn­ing to spot Bay marine pests

Te Puke Times - - NEWS -

Ocean-lov­ing for­mer Te Puke res­i­dent Andy Wills will share his knowl­edge of marine pests with boat own­ers at Labour Week­end.

The Bay of Plenty Re­gional Coun­cil marine biose­cu­rity of­fi­cer, who spent his early years on a Te Puke ki­wifruit or­chard, is host­ing a work­shop to teach boat­ies how to iden­tify and avoid pest that like to hitch a ride on hulls or in­fest bal­last wa­ter.

The hour-long morn­ing work­shop is at Tau­ranga Bridge Ma­rina on Satur­day Oc­to­ber 20.

Andy’s affin­ity for the sea was ce­mented at age 12, when his fa­ther moved to Mo¯tı¯tı¯ Is­land. The young r Wills spent school hol­i­days on the is­land, lived there for sev­eral pe­ri­ods and went on to study marine bi­ol­ogy.

He says the work­shop will pro­vide plenty of in­for­ma­tion and pho­tos to raise aware­ness of marine pests but it was also in­clude a prac­ti­cal, hands-on ses­sion. He and a team of fel­low spe­cial­ists will re­move a ves­sel from the wa­ter with the travel lift and con­duct a com­plete hull check, clean and wa­ter blast.

The event, run by Waikato Univer­sity spe­cial­ists and the re­gional coun­cil’s marine biose­cu­rity team, is part of a week-long series of biose­cu­rity-fo­cused events. The week in­cludes the launch of the new Tau­ranga Moana Biose­cu­rity Cap­i­tal (TMBC), a col­lab­o­ra­tion bring­ing to­gether coun­cil, iwi, govern­ment,

science, ed­u­ca­tion and busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives to take ac­tion on biose­cu­rity.

Coun­cil’s biose­cu­rity man­ager Greg Cor­bett says biose­cu­rity col­lab­o­ra­tion is not new to the re­gional coun­cil, which has been work­ing with the Univer­sity of Waikato on marine pest sur­veil­lance and con­trol since 2013. That part­ner­ship was launched fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of in­va­sive Mediter­ranean fan­worm in the Bay of Plenty. Other ma­jor tar­gets in­clude two species of sea squirt and the Asian pad­dle crab.

“No one wants to see our seafood stocks de­pleted or our aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try harmed and most boat­ies just need a bit of help to un­der­stand how to do their bit.

“While our team is ob­vi­ously very fo­cused on marine threats, it’s great to have the back­ing of this TMBC ini­tia­tive and to work along­side all these lo­cal and na­tional biose­cu­rity ex­perts.” GREG COR­BETT Bay of Plenty Re­gional Coun­cil biose­cu­rity man­ager

No one wants to see our seafood stocks de­pleted or our aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try harmed and most boat­ies just need a bit of help to un­der­stand how to do their bit.’

Rex Fair­weather in­spect­ing a hull of Mediter­ranean fan worm.

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