Marine pests

There are over 200 marine pests reported in Australian waters, most of which were introduced accidentally by shipping and aquaculture activities.

Marine plants and animals can be transported across thousands of kilometres of ocean on the hulls of vessels and in the ballast water of ships. Most of these organisms will not survive the journey, and those that do survive will not cope with the conditions of their new environment.

Only a few of the marine species that have been introduced are considered pests. They threaten native biodiversity, commercial fisheries and aquaculture industries, and greatly increase maintenance requirements for vessels. These pests may also interfere with port activities.

The Biosecurity Act 2014 lists 33 prohibited species of marine animals and plants.

  • Asian green mussel

    An invasive marine pest that can be transported in ship ballast water, on vessel hulls and in niche areas such as internal seawater systems.

  • Asian bag mussel

    An invasive marine pest that can be introduced by ship ballast water, on vessel hulls and in niche areas such as aquaculture equipment.

Last updated 01 July 2016