Learning to spot Bay marine pests
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.