Marine pests

Marine pests pose a major threat to Canterbury's beautiful coastal waters. It's important that we all work together to limit their spread.

Marine pests are species that have been introduced to our waters and have the potential to severely damage our marine ecosystems by outcompeting native species for food and space.

This damage can have a devasting effect on our natural resources, marine industries, water quality and mahinga kai.

Marine pests to be on the lookout for

Marine pests often enter our region and spread from catching a ride on boat hulls.

Biosecurity New Zealand has a list of marine pests to be on the lookout for (PDF file, 2.6 MB).

Some are already found in our waters and others we need to be vigilant tp stop them from entering our marine environment.

You can also visit the Marine Biosecurity Porthole to find information about invasive marine species in New Zealand.


Seen something unusual? Report it

Ministry for Primary Industries' Pest and Diseases hotline

Call the Ministry for Primary Industries' Pest and Diseases hotline on 0800 80 99 66. If possible, please take photos and record the location. The location could be the name of a vessel and where it was moored, or the physical location if it was found on the sea floor or structures.

Take a photo and report it using the Find-A-Pest app

The Find-A-Pest app enables you to report potential pest species, including marine, plant, animal and fungal species.

If you come across something out of the ordinary, simply upload a picture to the app and a Find-A-Pest specialist or the iNaturalist community will help identify it. If your observation is considered a potential biosecurity threat, this will be forwarded to Biosecurity New Zealand to contact you if necessary.

If taking a photo of a vessel, be sure to capture the name and its location for tracing purposes.

Keep your vessel clean and pest free

You can help protect Canterbury's beautiful waterways and marine ecosystems by being a good boatie and keeping a clean hull. Check out our handy guide to good boat maintenance practices


Check out the following resources to learn more about marine biosecurity in New Zealand:

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