Advisory on Lyttelton Harbour Surveillance

8 November 2005

Latest results in from the national surveillance programme for the presence of the sea squirt, the clubbed tunicate, have shown the organism is present in very small numbers in one location in Lyttelton Harbour.

Biosecurity New Zealand is currently searching a number of locations around the country that are considered at potential risk of having the sea squirt present.

To date it has been found in areas throughout the Hauraki Gulf in Auckland and in Lyttelton Port.

The latest find was in the wider Lyttelton Harbour in the Magazine Bay Marina which is less than a kilometre outside the main Lyttelton Port. The sea squirt was earlier identified in a sample taken from the Lyttelton Port as part of a baseline survey, and its presence there was confirmed by divers last month.

The researchers diving in the area in the latest surveillance exercise last week have reported that the sea squirts are present in Magazine Bay in very low numbers - only half a dozen individuals were found during the search.

Searches of jetties on Quail Island, Charteris Bay, Diamond Harbour, Ripapa Island and Purau Bay, plus moorings and piles in Purau Bay failed to find any trace of the organism.

It was also not found in searches of jetties around Akaroa.

The next location for surveillance is Greymouth Port where diving will be underway on Wednesday (9 November).



Last Updated: 28 September 2010

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