Monitoring helps detect new marine pests

It is difficult to eradicate introduced marine pests, particularly once they establish a large population.  Therefore early detection of new pest arrivals is critical.

The National System includes a monitoring strategy that provides early detection of new pest arrivals. It will also provide information to assist in emergency response or pest management activities.

The monitoring strategy will detect pest species at high risk locations throughout Australia. Its focus is to detect new pest incursions or changes in populations of existing pests.

The Australian marine pest monitoring manual has been developed which describes the processes and standards for marine pest monitoring in the Australian context. It includes:

  • monitoring design, including sampling procedures and species selection
  • field guides for sampling techniques and collection processes
  • sample handling, preservation and analysis procedures
  • reporting—including standard data sheets and reporting forms.  

A companion document, the Australian marine pest monitoring guidelines, describes the rationale for the approach to the routine collection of monitoring data and how this data will be used to inform decision making in the Australian context.

The guidelines:

  • outline the decision process for selecting the priority locations and monitoring target species in Australia
  • outline the governance arrangements for the implementation of monitoring programs
  • provide the design pathways and management actions stemming from monitoring results
  • outline the review process to ensure future improvement to the monitoring programs, the manual and guidelines and the monitoring strategy.