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CSIRO Media Release July 2003 Australia identifies marine pest threats.

Scientists have identified 33 potential marine invaders that could seriously alter the balance of marine life or pose a risk to human health if they reached Australian coastal waters. In a project funded by the Commonwealth  government’s Natural Heritage Trust, risk assessment scientists at CSIRO established the identity of the most damaging marine species from around the world - including fish, molluscs and toxic dinoflagellates.

“We have reviewed the invasion history, distribution and environmental impacts of more than 1300 marine species and to date, 33 of these satisfy our bio-invasion hazard assessment criteria.

We are currently confirming the status of another 40 species.” says Dr Keith Hayes, from CSIRO Marine Research. “This is a priority list of species that could arrive in Australia by ballast water and hull fouling and are likely to cause significant economic and environment harm if they survived and became established,” Dr Hayes said.

Some of the species on the list are:

  • Asian green mussel (Perna viridis)
  • Golden mussel (Limnoperna fortunei)
  • Ivory barnacle (Balanus eburneus)
  • Japanese shore crab (Hemigrapsus penicillatus)
  • Asian copepod (Pseudodiaptomus marinus)
  • Red seaweed (Womersleyella setacea).

For more information on the species identified in this project see www.marinepests.gov.au> Marine pests> Pest ID cards.

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