Completing a simple survey could play an important part in strengthening Queenslander’s marine pest biosecurity.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Biosecurity Queensland has released the marine pest survey to help improve marine pest awareness and practices to reduce the possibility of a marine pest establishing in Queensland.
“Everyone has a part to play in marine biosecurity and Biosecurity Queensland wants to know the boating practices people have now, and how much people know about marine pest biosecurity to help decide what areas to focus the education and awareness campaign on,” Mr Furner said.
“That is why we are asking anyone who works or enjoys time in Queensland’s magnificent marine environment to complete the online survey which is open until 29 March 2019.
“The survey will provide valuable information about current marine pest biosecurity knowledge including awareness, prevention, preparedness, identification and response to a suspected marine pest sighting.
“Information from the survey, which is part of the Queensland Marine Pest Prevention and Preparedness Project, will be used to improve awareness of biosecurity prevention and preparedness to reduce the risk of potentially devastating marine pest impacts.”
Mr Furner said marine pests were invasive, non-native plants and animals that can spread rapidly and often reproduce quickly and in large numbers.
“As we have seen with white spot disease, some pests have great potential for destroying our marine environment, the businesses that rely upon it and impacting our way of life,” Mr Furner said.
“Pests such as Asian green mussel, Brown mussel, Japanese seaweed and Harris mud crab can displace and exclude native species, carry disease, and foul infrastructure which impacts on commercial fisheries, ports, marinas and the tourism industry.
“Completing the survey will help build Queensland’s marine biosecurity capability to help prevent marine pests from entering, establishing and spreading throughout Queensland’s marine environment.”
Mr Furner said effective marine biosecurity was about early detection, reporting and responding quickly to a suspected marine pest sighting.
“The early detection and notification of a single Asian Green Mussel in waters near Weipa in May 2017 and the prompt action taken following that discovery were crucial in achieving a terrific biosecurity outcome,” Mr Furner said.
“I therefore encourage anyone with an interest in Queensland’s valuable marine environment to complete the marine pest survey because improving education and awareness will ultimately help protect the natural environment, our economy,and our way of life.
“By raising everyone’s awareness and knowledge, we are more likely to achieve early notification and take appropriate and timely action to minimise the risks from invasive marine pests.”
The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/823NMW6