PARKS Victoria marine rangers are pleased that it has been over 22 months since a single Northern Pacific Seastar, Asterias amurensis, has been detected following the completion of a recent monitoring program.
Since the invasive Northern Pacific Seastar was first discovered at Wilsons Promontory National Park in 2012, marine rangers have partnered with other research organisations to undertake intensive removal as well as density monitoring surveys in Tidal River.
Swift action and sound marine management practices have resulted in an extensive decline in the Northern Pacific Seastar population at Wilsons Promontory National Park.
Parks Victoria is advising visitors utilising non-powered watercraft such as kayaks, paddle boards and boat users to remain vigilant to ensure all the hard work in removing the notorious pest is not futile.
Visitors are reminded to adopt the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ process:
- Check your equipment (including kayak, snorkels, water play equipment) for any pests.
- Clean equipment with fresh water to eliminate any marine pests you cannot see.
- Dry boats and marine equipment thoroughly before moving to a new marine location.
“The Northern Pacific Seastar can significantly impact a marine ecosystem by consuming native marine life – it is critical that we remove any that are found,” said Parks Victoria marine ranger, Cassidy Mackenzie.
“So far, we have made a commitment to this but the threat of new incursions still persists.
“The Northern Pacific Seastar program has been a high priority in accordance with the Parks Conservation Action Plan.”