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28 November 2005
The invasive sea squirt, the clubbed tunicate, has been confirmed present in
the marina at Tutukaka in Northland.
Two mature specimens of the sea squirt were collected during the surveillance
work undertaken at the location last week (21 November).
Biosecurity New Zealand says the samples were sent to a laboratory for
identification and confirmation of the positive identification came through
The two specimens were taken from a pontoon at Tutukaka. No further specimens
The clubbed tunicate is a fouling organism that grows on marine structures
and can grow on natural surfaces such as rocks and shells.
It has to date been located widely throughout the Hauraki Gulf and in
Lyttelton. However surveillance of 20 other locations around New Zealand has not
detected its presence.
Biosecurity New Zealand says work is ongoing on checking a remaining five
potentially high-risk locations for the organism.
The NIWA team undertaking the surveillance is today inspecting the Tauranga
Future inspections scheduled are:
Biosecurity New Zealand is continuing to ask members of the public and marine
users to report any suspect finds to its free 0800 number: 0800 80 99 66.
And it is asking boaties to ensure their boat hulls are clean and free of
fouling. The sea squirt can be spread on fouled boat hulls.
For further information, please contact: Lesley Patston Senior Communications
Adviser Ph. 027 2051418