Since May 2013 no Undaria individuals have been found within Sunday Cove.
This means that for the last nine months we have been “Undaria free”. Even though these results are positive, the response team (MPI, DOC and ES) and the Fiordland Marine Guardians are still cautious due to the reproductive ecology of this highly invasive seaweed.
With this in mind, the team transferred another ~3000 Kina (Evechinus chloroticus) into Sunday Cove in areas that we had previously found large numbers of Undaria.
One of the reasons this was done was due to the large amount of native seaweed regrowth in these areas, causing difficultly with searching. Since the transfer, the Kina have “grazed” down the native seaweed in these difficult to search areas ensuring that searching is far more effective. The added bonus is that if there is any remaining Undaria in these areas the Kina will likely consume them as well.
If you’re planning a trip to Fiordland this Easter for the Roar, you can help protect this precious place from further threats by checking your vessel’s hull (including niche areas) and gear are clean and free of marine pests before travel, and if it’s fouled, clean them.
For more information please visit: http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/fiordland
Derek Richards, Biosecurity, Environment Southland