Non-Indigenous Marine Species (NIMS) in Biofouling on RAN Vessels: Threat Analysis
DEFENCE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANISATION FISHERMANS BEND (AUSTRALIA) MARITIME DIV
Pagination or Media Count:
The translocation of marine species by anthropogenic vectors, such as ships ballast water, hull fouling, and fouling in sea chests and internal seawater systems, poses a biosecurity issue by enabling the colonisation and establishment of species in regions beyond their native range. To gain understanding of the biosecurity risk posed by biofouling from RAN vessels returning from overseas DST Group conducted a survey of hull biofouling, with URS Australasia sampling 26 RAN vessels, which involved 53 inspections over the period 2001 - 2010, including at least one representative from all commissioned classes. Also, DST Group conducted port surveys of four defence-restricted ports where RAN vessels from this survey were berthed to determine if there was any increased threat due to differences in the RAN operational aspects compared to non-defence vessels. Similarly, the regions visited by RAN vessels in this survey were assessed to determine which region posed the highest biosecurity threat to Australian waters. The hull biofouling survey identified over 260 different taxa of macroalgae and macroinvertebrates and vertebrates. Twenty-one of the taxa identified have been previously reported as invasive marine pests overseas and are therefore considered potentially invasive in Australian waters. This subset of twenty-one species will be looked at in depth in this report to determine the potential biosecurity threat they pose to Australia.
- Biological Oceanography