Marine pests can have a serious effect on your aquaculture business.
They can increase your operating costs and lead to lost income. If marine pests get into your aquaculture farm, they may:
- damage your infrastructure
- prey on your stock
- spread diseases
- affect human health.
Keep it clean and free from pests. Train staff to identify marine pests. Report anything you find.
Find out how to help protect your industry from pests and diseases. Watch the video.
Pests such as oysters or barnacles can attach to your equipment and cut you or your workers.
Some pests are microscopic organisms. In high levels they may be toxic to humans.
Shellfish feed on and accumulate these pests.
- create human health issues
- cause the affected shellfish beds to be closed down.
Keep it clean
Keep marine pests out of your aquaculture business.
Anything you submerge in water can spread marine pests. This includes livestock, racks, trays, nets, cages, lines, ropes, oyster baskets and vessels.
Protect your business and Australia’s waterways:
- check local requirements with your state or territory authority
- use our aquaculture biofouling management guidelines.
Avoid any action that could spread pests to a new location.
Marine organisms that attach and grow on submerged surfaces.
Biofouling is one of the most common ways that marine pests spread. They can attach in large quantities on vessels and equipment and move long distances. They will then spread to the next location you use your equipment or vessel.
Biofouling increases the longer a vessel or structure is submerged or when antifouling paint is not regularly applied.
Stock and equipment
Moving stock or equipment? Don't inadvertently move pests or diseases along with your stock. Read the National policy guidelines for the translocation of live aquatic animals and undertake a risk assessment as part of all translocation activities.
Keep your stock and equipment free of biofouling.
- Look for pests or unusual growth.
- Regularly clean and dry all equipment.
Use clean equipment to transport stock. Remove anything you find. Dispose of it on land.
Vessels moving between locations can spread marine pests.
Check, treat and clean vessels regularly. Include hard to reach areas.
- Apply antifouling coatings to vessels. Read our antifouling guidelines.
- Inspect and clean vessels carefully. Read our advice on managing vessel risks.
- Meet Australian Ballast Water Management Requirements, if applicable.
Keep a lookout in your area.
Be informed. Look for anything unusual. Help stop the spread of marine pests.
States and territories are responsible for managing marine pest risks in their area.
You must meet requirements set by your relevant state or territory authority:
- New South Wales — Department of Primary Industries
- Northern Territory — Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries
- Queensland — Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
- South Australia — Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA
- Tasmania — Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
- Victoria — Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
- Western Australia — Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
See something unusual? Report it. Even if you’re not sure.
If you see something you think is a pest:
- note the exact location (screenshot your map app or enable photo geotagging on your phone)
- take a photo (use something for size reference, like a coin or note)
- contact your state or territory authority.
Plans for aquatic animals: