Earlier this year, consultants Biofouling Solutions undertook the first survey for invasive marine species in the Norfolk Marine Park, as part of the Australian Government-funded Norfolk Island Pest and Disease Survey initiative.
As home to diverse temperate and tropical marine life and several important heritage sites, Norfolk Marine Park is critically important to both the environment and lifestyle of the island.
The aim of the survey was to understand what, if any, invasive species are in the Norfolk Marine Park surrounding Norfolk, Philip and Nepean Islands, to best support the ongoing conservation and protection of the extraordinary Norfolk marine ecosystem.
The survey team, led by Dr Ashley Coutts, undertook comprehensive analysis to focus their search. They identified 29 invasive marine species of greatest concern for Norfolk Island. After undertaking the survey in mid-2022 with the support of community members, the team has now provided their final results.
The good news is that no priority marine invasive species were detected through the survey.
To keep the waters surrounding Norfolk Island free from invasive marine species, the team made a number of recommendations, including an ongoing surveillance program, additional biosecurity regulations for ships coming to Norfolk Island, and innovative design options for any future port infrastructure, to deter the establishment of invasive species.
The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts will work with the marine survey partners, Parks Australia and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, to consider the recommendations.
The Department welcomes feedback from community members on the survey outcomes and will reach out at a later date to discuss next steps.
This survey was jointly funded by the Department and Parks Australia. The full report can be found on the Department’s website at https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/territories-regions-cities/territories/norfolk-island/norfolk-island-strategy-projects/norfolk-island-pest-and-disease-survey-2021-2023/norfolk-marine-park-invasive-marine-species-survey
Any enquiries about the marine survey can be made to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Administrator of Norfolk Island
8 December 2022