The Introduced Marine Pests Program

The Introduced Marine Pests Program is a key platform in the Federal Government's response to introduction of exotic marine pests such as Northern Pacific seastars and Japanese kelp in the Australian marine environment. The Program's overall goal is to support actions that will ultimately lead to the control and local eradication of introduced marine pest species.

The Program provides advice and funds to help combat marine pest outbreaks. In doing so, it complements the barrier controls set in place by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service under the Australian Ballast Water Management Strategy.

Why do we need an Introduced Marine Pests Program?

To date, Australia has lacked the organised capacity to effectively deal with introduced marine pests. This and a lack of knowledge about marine pests here and overseas combine to frustrate the efforts of communities wanting to tackle the problem.

The Introduced Marine Pests Program is working to overcome these problems by building the elements of a national incursion response capability. The establishment of a comprehensive introduced marine pest incursion management system is one of the key initial actions identified in Australia's Oceans Policy

What are the funding priorities of the Introduced Marine Pests Program?

Funding is being directed to help government, industry and community stakeholders determine the major impacts of exotic marine species and activities that allow pests to take hold. The Program will also help develop the best ways to counter these threats.

Funding priorities for the Program are:

improve understanding of the impacts of pest species;

implement technology and techniques that contribute to control and eradication;

respond to selected incidents of new pest incursions;

increase community awareness of and participation in introduced marine pest issues.

What type of projects are funded by the Introduced Marine Pests Program?

The Program encourages proposals that directly assist with:

development of effective pest control techniques;

establishment of protocols for the surveillance, response and management of marine pest incursions;

establishment of priority or notifiable pest lists;

development of contingency plans for emergency response action;

awareness programs that facilitate community participation in marine pest control and removal.

The National Taskforce on the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions

On 24 December 1999 a joint Government Taskforce tabled a major report for consideration by relevant Government Ministerial Councils. The report's also includes the Taskforce recommendations and summary.