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Thursday 13 October 2005
Members of Biosecurity New Zealand's response team to the incursion of the
clubbed tunicate met with representatives of the country's marine farming
industry today to investigate working together on the situation.
The clubbed tunicate, which has arrived in New Zealand from overseas, has
been confirmed here at the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland and at Lyttelton Harbour.
A single specimen of a juvenile clubbed tunicate has also been confirmed on
the hull of a vessel which had sailed to Picton from the Viaduct. That vessel
was quickly removed from the water and has been thoroughly cleaned.
At today's meeting industry participants outlined their valid concerns about
the threat the seasquirt poses to their industry and Biosecurity New Zealand
outlined details of how the incursion response is taking shape.
"We will be working as a team on this issue," says Senior Marine Adviser
Brendan Gould. "We are all clear that we want the best possible outcome in this
situation. However, it's not just an issue for marine farmers, it's an issue for
everyone who uses the waters around New Zealand."
Contractors to Biosecurity New Zealand began work at the Viaduct in Auckland
today, examining wharf structures in the area.
"We are expecting a report back on the situation there in the next day or
so," Mr Gould says.
"Divers there are pulling up specimens and samples to analyse, but it's still
too early to clarify the findings or identify what they are."
A diver will also be in the water in Waikawa Bay in Picton tomorrow (Friday
14th October 2005) to check the area around where the vessel from Auckland was
And arrangements are underway to begin similar checks in Lyttelton Harbour.
For further information, please contact:
Lesley Patston, Senior
Communications Adviser, Ph 04 474-4246 or 027 205-1418 Or Phillip Barclay,
Senior Communications Adviser, Ph. 04 470-2753 or 027 229-9145