You don’t need to be an expert at identifying Caulerpa to play your part in preventing its spread.
Simply check and clean your anchor and equipment and throw any weed you find straight back where it came from. That’s the message behind a new campaign from Biosecurity New Zealand to let the public know how they can be involved in stopping the spread of exotic Caulerpa; a pest seaweed found in the waters off Aotea Great Barrier Island and Ahuahu Great Mercury Island.
If not handled with care, it could spread rapidly and smother native marine life.
There are legal controls in place around these waters to help stop the spread, so if you are heading out on the water make sure you check the rules at: biosecurity.govt.nz
Boaters play a key role in preventing its spread and can help by:
- Know where exotic Caulerpa is
- Know the rules about anchoring and fishing in those areas
- Know what to do
– check your gear, particularly anchors and anchor chains
– if you see any seaweed on your equipment, throw the weed straight back
Keeping your boat and equipment clean is the best thing that you can do to avoid spreading marine pests, including exotic Caulerpa.
It’s really important – if you pull up anchor and notice seaweed on the anchor or chain, remove it and put it back in the same waters. That means any seaweed. It’s good practice and you don’t have to be an expert in identifying Caulerpa.
Working together as a community we can stop the spread and leave exotic Caulerpa right where it is.
See weed; chuck it straight back.
If you spot either of these Caulerpa species, take a photo, record the location and phone the Pest and Disease Hotline at 0800 80 99 66 or complete the online reporting form at report.mpi.govt.nz.
If you have any questions about Caulerpa, email Caulerpa@mpi.govt.nz