Undaria pinnatifida, also known as Japanese Kelp or Wakame, has been found at Port Welshpool. This is the first detection of the species outside of Port Phillip Bay and the Apollo Bay harbour. The introduction and spread of Undaria is often associated with human activity. It is likely that it was introduced to Port Welshpool via the hulls of vessels coming from Port Phillip Bay.

While complete removal of the infestation from Port Welshpool is not feasible however, it is important to stop it from spreading to other areas such as the largely pristine waters of Wilsons Prom. Many boats launch from Port Welshpool and travel to locations such as Refuge Cove but also further out to Lakes Entrance.

All users of the marine environment have a role to play in preventing the spread of marine pests. “Marine pests can be microscopic in size at early growth stages, so people may not even realise they’re transporting them on their boat or equipment. To help stop their spread, practice good vessel hygiene through the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ method”.

Good vessel hygiene means:

    1. Check any equipment and vessels that have been in marine waters for pests
    2. Clean them in freshwater
    3. Dry the equipment before moving to a new marine location.

Suspected sightings of marine pests outside of their known distribution should be made immediately to marine.pests@ecodev.vic.gov.au or call 136186. Reports should include a photograph, location and date of sighting.

See the DEDJTR Information to Stakeholders for further information.

undaria pinitifida

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