Introduced Marine Pests Incursion Management
Marine pests are any exotic marine species that may pose a threat to Australia's marine environment or industry if introduced, established or translocated. Large numbers of marine pests have been translocated into the Australian environment by a variety of means, including through ships' ballast water and by attachment to ships' hulls, anchors and other structures (referred to as biofouling).
Ballast water is water taken on board a ship to control trim, list, draught, stability or stresses of the ship. Ballast is essential for safe and operationally efficient shipping operations and is used by ships all over the world. Ships will usually uptake ballast water when unloading cargo and discharge this water in different ports when loading cargo during the journey.
The National Introduced Marine Pests Coordination Group (NIMPCG), within the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) is leading the implementation of a National System for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions to address the marine pest problem. The Department works closely with DAFF on those elements of the National System that potentially have a significant impact on the shipping industry and is also a member of NIMPCG (membership of which is comprised of representatives from Australian Government departments and agencies, the state/Northern Territory governments, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, the ports and the shipping and bulk commodity industries).
Further information on the National System for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions is available on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website.