The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investing in research to advance treatment options for invasive marine pests and support growth of New Zealand’s aquaculture industry.
A review of current treatment options for marine pests found there were some gaps, and to build on developing treatments, a research programme of work has now been approved. $650,000 is being made available over 4 years.
One focus will be finding treatments to help shellfish farms deal with hitchhiker pests while maintaining good health of their stock. This might include gaining a better understanding of the timing and strength of treatments.
Another focus will be developing treatments for when a new invasive marine weed or pest is detected. In the past, the most common method for removing these pests has been using divers, however, diving poses challenges when working in low visibility water, with safety restrictions on depth and dive duration. It will be useful to identify options that do not rely so much on divers.
This operational research work will be managed by a team from across MPI to bring in expertise and perspectives from several parts of the biosecurity system, fisheries and aquaculture.
Read the literature review outlining the current treatment options for marine biosecurity.
Researchers are encouraged to apply for this funding via the government procurement site.