20 Nov 2014

Boat brings marine pests to Tauranga bay

11:31 am on 20 November 2014

More than 100 invasive marine pests have been found on a boat in one of Tauranga's most popular swimming spots.

The boat has been moored at Pilot Bay for almost a year, but Bay of Plenty Regional Council divers have just discovered fanworms and sea squirts during a routine inspection.

Mediterranean fanworms on the hull of a boat found moored in Pilot Bay.

Mediterranean fanworms on the hull of a boat in Pilot Bay. Photo: Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Regional Council Biosecurity Officer, Hamish Lass, said the boat has come from Auckland and the council is negotiating with the owner to get it cleaned.

He said given the size and number of pests on the hull it is possible they will have spawned.

The council was working with the Ministry for Primary Industries to try to determine how to contain the pests.

Both pests are classified as Unwanted Organisms under the Biosecurity Act 1993 and are a threat to seafood stocks, aquaculture and local marine life because of their growth and feeding habits.

The latest find is the third pest-infested boat found in Tauranga Harbour since September last year.

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