Emergency planning and response

An emergency is when:

  • a marine pest is found in a new area
  • the pest is likely to significantly affect the environment, economy, amenity, or human health.

In these cases, we have to respond quickly and coordinate our efforts.

Learn about the roles in biosecurity planning and response. Watch the video.

Transcript - Biosecurity Basics - Biosecurity role (docx 22KB)

Roles and responsibilities

We provide national coordination, tools and resources to support emergency planning and response. This supports fast and effective response to marine pest emergencies.

Biosecurity is a shared responsibility. A marine pest response requires cooperation between all affected and interested parties:

  • State and territory governments
  • Industry
  • Community.

The Consultative Committee on Introduced Marine Pest Emergencies (CCIMPE) provides guidance and national coordination at the request of an affected jurisdiction.

All marine users have a responsibility to be aware of the risks of marine pests and to reduce those risks where possible.

Emergency response guides

The Marine Pest Emergency Response Guides are a series of manuals that describe Australia’s agreed technical and policy approach for responding to marine pest incursions.

  • Marine Pest Response Manuals provide guidance on developing a response to a suspected or confirmed marine pest incursion. This includes the types of information needed and technical advice on control, eradication and management methods. Manuals are currently available for 6 priority marine species (Northern pacific sea star, European green crab, Black striped mussel and Asian green mussel, and Japanese seaweed or wakame), with an additional manual providing more general guidance.
  • Marine Pest Management Manual provides guidance on elements of a response including disposal, destruction, clean up and treatment options (in production — aims to be released late 2021).
  • Biosecurity Incident Management System: Marine pest version provides guidance on managing emergency response operations, with a focus on structuring control centres and incident management teams, and supplementary content specific to marine pest responses.

A series of National Control Plans are also available. These provide a national approach to controlling and managing 6 priority established marine pest species (northern Pacific sea star, Asian date or bag mussels, European green shore crab, Japanese seaweed or wakame, European or basket shell clam, European fan worm).

National response arrangements

Emergency response arrangements are established under the National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement (NEBRA).

​It applies to any biosecurity incident that will:

  • affect the environment or social amenity
  • where the response is for the public benefit.

The methodology to guide responses to marine pest incursions under the NEBRA provides:

  • guidelines for developing a cost-benefit analysis in the context of response to a marine pest incursion
  • consistent format and content for a cost-benefit analysis.