Research and development

Research helps us to improve our understanding of marine pests. This informs our approach to prevent and manage marine pest risks.

Our research is focused on 5 priority areas:

  • reducing the risk of marine pest establishment and spread
  • strong surveillance
  • preparedness
  • continuous marine pest biosecurity research and development
  • getting businesses, the community and others more engaged.

Read our National priorities for introduced marine pest research and development 2013-2023.


We continue to expand our marine pest identification information.

Collecting surveillance data improves our knowledge of marine pest distribution and abundance. Our focus is particularly on locations identified as high-risk.

Research outputs:


We can all help keep our marine environments healthy.

Our goal is to educate industry and the public about the threat of marine pests. To help everyone understand the risks and inspire action to stop the spread.

Building awareness in our community helps everyone play their part. We are working to expand our citizen scientist and community resources.

How you can stop the spread of marine pests.

Research outputs:

Risk pathways

We need to understand how marine pests spread to properly manage those risk pathways.

Ballast water is taken on board by vessels to maintain stability and trim. Ballast water can contain thousands of aquatic microbes, plants and animals. These can be spread across the globe as the vessel releases ballast water.

Unmanaged ballast water released in foreign ports could potentially introduce a range of invasive marine species. Invasions have already taken place around the world. In some instances with significant consequences for the local ecosystem.

Learn more about how vessel operators are required to manage ballast water risks..

Biofouling is another way pests are transported between locations. Our biofouling management guidelines help vessels to reduce this risk.

We undertake research to better understand biofouling risks and ways for vessel operators to manage those risks.

Research outputs:


National and international resources to help your marine pest research.

International databases