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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Biosecurity research

​Our biosecurity unit carries out research into the distribution, identification, management and control of invasive aquatic pests. The results are used to provide scientific and technical advice to government, industry and the community on the management of aquatic pests in marine and freshwater environments.

The unit’s key objectives are:

  • Maintaining a monitoring program to detect introductions of aquatic pests in WA;
  • Leading emergency responses to introductions of invasive species; and
  • Developing, trialling and delivering innovative technologies to assist with the detection, management and control of introduced aquatic pests.

There are two main areas our research addresses:

  • In the marine biosecurity area, we carry out marine pest monitoring in line with the National System for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions. Our marine pest monitoring primarily focuses on WA coastal ports which are at risk of marine pest introduction as a result of biofouling  and ballast water from commercial and recreational shipping. We also develop and trial pest detection and eradication methods.
  • In the area of freshwater biosecurity, we scan bodies of freshwater for pests and scientifically verify new pest sightings. We do this, along with regular pest monitoring and control activities, to protect our native species and aquatic environments. We work closely with our biodiversity team to rehabilitate water-bodies by restocking native species after pest fish have been eradicated.  We also manage a freshwater fish distribution database, which covers all known records of where pest fish have been identified in the State.

Last modified: 25/10/2017 3:35 PM



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