New Zealand / Environment

Marine pest found in Gisborne harbour

17:23 pm on 2 January 2021

Routine checks of Gisborne's inner harbour have revealed the return of the Mediterranean fanworm.

Mediterranean fanworm (Sabella spallanzanii), also known as the feather duster worm. Photo: 123RF

The marine pest is a known threat to native marine species.

A dive team from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council discovered the fanworm during recent routine surveillance of the harbour and marina.

Biosecurity team leader Phil Karaitiana said the fanworms were removed, but it's a timely reminder to all vessel owners to ensure hulls are kept clean and anti-fouled.

He said this is especially important for boats travelling between regions.

Boat hulls are the major culprit in spreading unwanted marine pests.