Australian DoD, Department of Fisheries WA to Monitor, Manage Marine Pests in WA Waters
The Australian Department of Defence has joined forces with the Department of Fisheries WA to monitor and manage marine pests in Western Australian waters.
The Defence Support Group (DSG), the Royal Australian Navy and the Department of Fisheries specialist Marine Biosecurity Research and Monitoring Group has worked together to develop and manage a marine pest monitoring program around Garden Island.
As part of the program, Royal Australian Navy Clearance Divers have taken part in marine pest surveys in waters surrounding HMAS Stirling, which involved collecting samples by scraping mussel fouling off pylons, from a prescribed depth. On the surface, the research group then sort through the fouling looking for the pest mussel.
The surveys are designed to ensure the early detection of marine pest incursions, vastly improving the chances of eradicating any pests that are found.
While the Asian Green Mussel has been a pest targeted by the program, this particular pest has not been found in the vicinity of Garden Island to date.
Navy, DSG and the Department of Fisheries WA intend to continue their vigilance to keep the marine area surrounding Garden Island free from marine and environmental pests.
Naval Today Staff, February 25, 2013; Image: Australian Navy