Marine biosecurity collaboration
New Zealand and Australia share many marine biosecurity challenges, and the two countries are developing a common approach to marine pest surveillance.
The serious risks and impacts of biological invasions in the marine environment have become increasingly apparent over recent years, both within New Zealand and internationally. There are still significant gaps in our understanding of marine bioinvasions, however. These gaps pose significant challenges for the development of effective management strategies to reduce the risks and minimise the impacts associated with invasions into new marine environments.
Although there is plenty of sea between our two countries, New Zealand and Australia are exposed to very similar marine biosecurity risks and issues. Through proactive national programmes, both countries have become world leaders in marine biosecurity research and management. However, there are many areas where our marine biosecurity work programmes are similar or overlap. These include approaches to biofouling management, marine pest surveillance, risk assessment and our engagement in international fora such as the International Maritime Organisation.
To date, collaboration between New Zealand and Australia on marine biosecurity issues has been relatively ad hoc; even so, the joint work undertaken by both countries has resulted in complementary benefits. Given our relatively close proximity, similarity in marine environments and in the species that threaten those environments, closer collaboration has the potential to yield significant environmental, economic (including research and development expenditure savings) and government policy benefits. Accordingly, Biosecurity New Zealand is exploring formal collaboration with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to realise these benefits and to develop more effective and efficient marine biosecurity systems.
First step toward more formal collaboration
Having recognised the importance of ongoing surveillance in managing the risks posed by non-indigenous marine species, the New Zealand and Australian governments have collaborated on the development of a targeted marine pest surveillance manual that will form an integral part of our respective marine biosecurity programmes. This manual will be a ‘how to’ guide for designing and implementing targeted surveillance that meets agreed minimum principles. It will ensure that data is collected using rigorous, consistent methods and meets agreed quality standards. This will help to ensure that management decisions are based on up-to-date and accurate data. It will also enable nationwide and potentially international comparisons over time. Implementation of the manual is currently being trialled in Australia, and it is anticipated that it will be updated and trialled again in New Zealand during 2007/2008.
- Brendan Gould, Senior Adviser Surveillance, Post-clearance, Biosecurity New Zealand, email@example.com
- Naomi Parker, Senior Science Adviser (Marine), Post-clearance, Biosecurity New Zealand, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Allan Bauckham, Marine Biosecurity Programme Coordinator, Post-clearance, Biosecurity New Zealand, email@example.com
Page last updated: 30 April 2008