Biosecurity Risk Assessment
MAF Biosecurity New Zealand (MAF) is developing a marine biosecurity programme to protect Fiordland’s unique marine environment from invasive species. The biosecurity plan will be part of a cooperative approach involving Central and Regional Government and the Fiordland Marine Guardians.
To support the development of the biosecurity programme, a risk assessment is being undertaken to identify the organisms, vectors and pathways which pose the greatest risk to Fiordland’s marine environment. The risk assessment will be used by MAF to target management activities to reduce the biosecurity risk. The risk analysis comprises three research components to be progressed over a three year period and due for completion in 2009.
Research components of the risk assessment include:
- An assessment of which non-indigenous organisms are likely to thrive in Fiordland’s conditions and how likely it is that they could be transported to Fiordland. This component is a desktop study examining existing data on ecological attributes of Fiordland’s marine environment, attributes of marine and freshwater organisms, and the pathways and vectors by which these species could be introduced to Fiordland.
- An assessment of vessel movement patterns into Fiordland and bio-fouling risks associated with those vessels. This research will identify the various types of vessels visiting Fiordland, their ports of origin and comprise in water inspections of those vessels to establish the levels of bio-fouling and identify non-indigenous species being transported into Fiordland on vessel hulls.
- An Ecological Risk Analysis. The analysis is the third and final component of the research and will combine results of the organism and vessel bio-fouling assessments to provide an overall assessment of the risk posed by non-indigenous organisms, vectors and pathways.