INDEPENDENT NEWS

Biodiversity Strategy Funding - Marine Biosecurity

Published: Thu 8 Jun 2000 02:23 PM
BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY FUNDING - MARINE BIOSECURITY
Thursday 8 June 2000
The Government will spend an extra $9.8 million on developing information and management systems to enhance New Zealand's marine biosecurity. This funding is part of a comprehensive five-year package involving conservation, environment, fisheries and biosecurity, confirmed in this year's Budget to support the Government's Biodiversity Strategy. It links to the Strategy's goal to halt the decline in New Zealand's biodiversity and will also support the Government's strategic goal of protecting and enhancing the environment.
The project
The project aims to protect the marine environment from invasive marine species such as the Northern Pacific seastar, which could cause serious impacts to our marine biodiversity and marine environment generally.
Throughout the next five years this project will improve our knowledge of potentially invasive species and of our marine biodiversity in areas most at risk from invasion, as well as supporting the development of our compliance, surveillance and response capabilities.
Under threat
This project will produce some practical tools to protect our marine environment from invasions from exotic organisms like the Asian date mussel and Undaria seaweed that threaten estuaries and other coastal areas. Often these invaders are spread by vessels transporting ballast water, hull encrustations and the movement of marine farming equipment. Practical tools must be developed so New Zealand can protect its marine biodiversity.
Actions
This project will be supported by research in the following areas:
• Baseline surveys of the biodiversity of New Zealand's nine busiest ports
• The development of alternative management tools for threats to biosecurity from known sources
• The development of a risk profile of species that may arrive in New Zealand
• The identification and establishment of surveillance techniques for marine pests
Community partnerships
This project will provide opportunities for co-operation with Australia and alignment of some of the two countries' biosecurity management measures. It will also provide opportunities for central and local government co-operation within New Zealand.
Information collected as part of the project will also provide extremely valuable information to other sectors, e.g. providing information on the country's pest status to export markets.
Funding package details
All figures in $m, GST inclusive.
2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 Total
$1.676 $2.178 $1.998 $1.998 $1.998 $9.8
For further information, please refer to http://www.biodiv.govt.nz

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