Awareness campaign urges marine users to LOOK, REPORT, PROTECT

Queenslanders are urged to be on the lookout for the seven deadly sins of marine pests:

  • Asian green mussel
  • Black striped false mussel
  • Asian bag mussel
  • Brown mussel
  • Harris mud crab
  • Chinese mitten crab
  • Japanese seaweed.

These are the invasive pests Queensland authorities are most worried about because they are the most likely to arrive and establish here.

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said Queensland had some of the world’s best marine environments, such as the Great Barrier Reef and our fisheries, so protecting them should be a priority for anyone who used them.

“Invasive marine pests can seriously damage our marine biodiversity, key industries including ports, marinas, tourism and commercial fisheries and our way of life,” Mr Healy said.

“I am urging all marine users including marina and slipway operators, ports, commercial divers, tourism operators, commercial fishers, recreational boaties, fishers and volunteer community groups to help us to minimise the threat of invasive marinespecies.”

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said protecting Queensland’s fisheries against invasive marine pests was an important step to protecting Queensland jobs.

“Both our commercial fishers and our recreational fishers depend on resources that belong to us all,” Mr Furner said.

“That’s why we are building a legacy of a sustainable fishery for our children and grandchildren, so we can all enjoy fishing the jobs it generates for many years to come.”

Mr Furner said Biosecurity Queensland had developed the Marine Pest Prevention and Preparedness Education and Awareness Campaign to increase industry and public knowledge of marine biosecurity.

“Biosecurity Queensland will work with maritime stakeholders to increase their knowledge of marine pest biosecurity and how to minimise the risk of marine pest incidents in Queensland,'” he said.

“A marine pest detection response kit, including equipment and information, has been developed to build the practical capability of stakeholders to respond to a suspected marine pest.

“These kits will be distributed to ports, marinas, slipway operators and volunteer community groups.

“Marine biosecurity officers will also attend stakeholder meetings to boost their risk mitigation capabilities.”

Mr Furner said although Queensland currently had no known established marine pests, we could never be complacent.

“Early detection and reporting of such marine pests is vital,” he said.

“If we know where a marine pest is early, our chances of stopping any spread and eradicating are vastly improved.

“It’s critical that every Queenslander plays their part and those who use our marine environments are aware of marine pest risks, know how to implement marine pest mitigation best practices and learn how to report a suspected marine pest.”

/Public Release. View in full here.