Aquaculture for all

A$9.4million Funding To Improve Marine Biosecurity

Biosecurity Environment Politics +2 more

AUSTRALIA Western Australia's (WA) Department of Fisheries has announced that it will be providing extra funding towards protecting WA's marine environment. The additional funds, to help manage risks to (WA)'s marine environment, have raised the Department of Fisheries profile as the States lead agency for aquatic biosecurity.

Fisheries Minister Norman Moore said A$9.4million would give the department greater scope to manage WA’s aquatic biosecurity obligations during the next two years.

“Annual funding of A$4.7million in 2011-12 and 2012-13 will lower the risk of marine pest incursions to industry and ports across the State”, Mr Moore said.

“The funding will aid frontline defences for WA’s aquatic resources by helping to maintain healthy marine and freshwater ecosystems that support sustainable fisheries”.

“Marine pests can seriously affect these ecosystems and cause impacts felt by all users of the marine environment”.

The Minister said the State Government would consider recurrent funding for future years to ensure appropriate protection for the marine environment.

“The amount of marine traffic around WA’s coast has grown strongly in recent times and boats and ships are recognised as a primary means of introducing or transporting marine pest organisms”, he said.

“It is vital that we prevent marine pests from invading our shores through shipping activity. Monitoring programs and surveys help as front line defences”.

“The State Government will continue to invest in initiatives such as biosecurity to protect our marine and freshwater ecosystems and build the State by ensuring the fisheries industry remains strong”.

Mr Moore said ballast water was often considered to be the primary vector of introduction and translocation for many marine pests, but biofouling on the external surfaces of vessels or marine equipment was of equal concern.

“The new funding will be used to raise awareness of biosecurity issues, carry out research into better methods of in-water inspection and hull cleaning and increase the number of inspections carried out”, he concluded.

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