To protect our marine environment and industries, the Australian and state/territory governments, along with marine industries and marine scientists are implementing Australia's National System for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions (the National System).
The National System aims to prevent new marine pests arriving, guide responses when a new pest does arrive and minimise the spread and impact of pests already established in Australia.
All vessels from international yachts to fishing vessels to commercial ships entering Australian waters can potentially bring in a new pest either by the pest attaching itself to the hull or other equipment or in the ship’s ballast water.
Once here, pests can spread easily to new locations by attaching themselves to any vessel including yachts, fishing boats and commercial ships.
Pests introduced and spread in this way pose a huge threat to Australia’s marine environment, to our fishing, aquaculture and tourism industries and to our recreational enjoyment of our coastline. Some pests can also adversely affect human health. More on the impacts of marine pests.