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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Tuesday 14 May 2013

WA PestWatch app to improve biosecurity

​There’s a call today for smart phone, tablet and web users to join the frontline of Western Australia’s aquatic biosecurity defences.

The Department of Fisheries, which is the lead agency for aquatic biosecurity matters in the State, today launches WA PestWatch; an app to help people report pests and diseases that turn up in our oceans or rivers.

Launching the new app, Western Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Lyn Beazley said recent discoveries of Asian paddle crabs, in Perth’s Swan River, were examples of how it was possible for marine and freshwater invaders to arrive here from far-away places and potentially threaten our aquatic environment.

“We need to quickly find the first of any aquatic pests, before they can breed and displace our native species,” Professor Beazley said.

“All West Australians can help by reporting any unusual fish, seaweed, mussel, worm, crab or other aquatic invertebrate they think might be a pest species. The department can use this information in improving WA’s defences, to help keep our waters pest and disease free for all to enjoy.

“This new app will also give people with smart mobile devices an interactive tool they can use to identify pests, when and where they see them.

“It’s a great way for everyone to work together in the fight against aquatic pests”.

Professor Beazley said, as well as the free WA PestWatch app that could be downloaded for smart phones and tablets from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store, there was also a web-based version.

A tablet and a smartphone

“The web-based version can be accessed through the department’s biosecurity information pages at www.fish.wa.gov.au/biosecurity,” she said.

WA PestWatch will help people track pests reported by other users and find out more about common marine and freshwater pests.

“People also have the option to report aquatic pests to FishWatch on 1800 815 507.

“Marine and freshwater pests are a real and potential threat to the State’s aquatic environment, as well as our tourism, aquaculture and fishing industries. Aquatic biosecurity management, compliance and research play a vital part in protecting Western Australia.”

WA's Chief Scientist Professor Lyn Beazley and Department of Fisheries' Director General Stuart Smith
WA's Chief Scientist Professor Lyn Beazley joined Department of Fisheries' Director General Stuart Smith at the Naturaliste Marine Discovery Centre in Hillarys to launch the WA PestWatch app.​​​​​​​​​​

Last modified: 31/07/2013 9:32 AM

 

 Launch event

 
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