The State Government’s $9.4million two-year program targeting the protection of Western Australian aquatic environments was launched at Hillarys today.
State Government beefs up frontline defences for WA marine environments
Cutting-edge technology to help fight alien aquatic biosecurity threats
Research projects to fill key aquatic biosecurity knowledge gaps
Fisheries Minister Norman Moore officially launched the comprehensive biosecurity program aimed at protecting WA waters, along with a special charter encouraging stakeholder organisations to become involved.
“The State Government recognises the significance of the financial and environmental risks of aquatic pests to our precious waters and its inhabitants,” Mr Moore said.
“Marine pests alone directly cost the global economy more than $1.5trillion every year.
“These pests can cause diseases in humans and quickly disrupt ecosystems and industries, threaten tourism and damage or even close down fisheries and aquaculture activities.
“We are committed to protecting our waters from alien pests and diseases and the launch of the biosecurity charter today will enable stakeholder organisations and the community to share the responsibility and play their part.”
As part of the launch event stakeholder signatories marked their commitment in support of the fight against aquatic pests by signing the charter, established by the Department of Fisheries.
The Minister said the Department of Fisheries was the lead agency for aquatic pest prevention and had developed new initiatives and projects to strengthen frontline defences.
“The department is already working on world-class strategies to manage the risks of introduction of alien aquatic pests here in WA, boosted by the recruitment and training of dedicated biosecurity researchers, policy staff and Fisheries and Marine Officers, to form part of the frontline response to alien aquatic pests,” he said.
“The team will be equipped with pest detection tools, such as snake-eye cameras, to undertake in-water checks of vessel hulls which may harbour aquatic pests.
“Without these measures, there is a high risk of pests being introduced to the marine environment through fouling on the hulls of visiting vessels, or from the ballast water and ongoing monitoring is a vital task.”
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