Biosecurity

Latest news

Visitors to NIWA’s stand at this year’s Fieldays are invited to go diving into the Rotorua lakes—without having to get wet.
Scientists have launched a worldwide crowdsourcing competition aimed at finding novel ideas to tackle invasive marine pests, with a cash prize of $US10,000 on offer.
Every year NIWA carries out numerous marine surveillance missions, surveys at ports and harbours around the country. Their divers are looking for the pests that have hitched a ride to New Zealand waters and are capable of destroying our unique ecosystems and shellfish industry.

When you are at the beach or harbours this summer, don't be surprised if you see sea squirts - marine animals we commonly see attached to rocks and wharf piles that have two siphons on the top of their bodies, one to draw in water and the other to expel it. When disturbed, sea squirts contract their siphons, expelling streams of water—hence their name.

Our work

Of the more than 70 aquatic plant species naturalised in New Zealand, more than 75% have become problem weeds or have been assessed as having the potential to become future problem weeds. Most of our lakes, rivers and streams are affected by at least one of these species.
A significant threat to the biosecurity of New Zealand's freshwater habitats comes from plants that have been intentionally introduced.

Our native marine life and ecosystems are vulnerable to non-native marine pests entering our coastal environments. These marine pests have been introduced to Aotearoa on boats arriving at our ports and harbours and can spread easily through ballast water and hull fouling.

Understanding how material released into the ocean spreads is very important in the case of oil spills, sediment transport and the release of invasive species. 

Latest videos

Diving deep to check up on our lakes

NIWA scientists jump overboard to check out the health the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes. The work is part of NIWA's national LakeSPI programme—an ecological health check for lakes throughout New Zealand. 
Underwater research to protect and maintain New Zealand's freshwater resources.

Robotic vehicle on the lookout for biosecurity pests
Foreign marine pests can threaten our marine life and it’s important to find them early before they can set up home here.
Of the more than 70 aquatic plant species naturalised in New Zealand, more than 75% have become problem weeds or have been assessed as having the potential to become future problem weeds. Most of our lakes, rivers and streams are affected by at least one of these species.
Diving deep to check up on our lakes

NIWA scientists jump overboard to check out the health the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes. The work is part of NIWA's national LakeSPI programme—an ecological health check for lakes throughout New Zealand. 
Underwater research to protect and maintain New Zealand's freshwater resources.

Freshwater Update 81 brings you the latest information from our Freshwater & Estuaries Centre, with articles ranging from how NIWA scientists are solving the longfin eel migration mystery, how we're taking you diving with us at Fieldays, and a word from one of the editors of the new Lakes Restoration Handbook.

Visitors to NIWA’s stand at this year’s Fieldays are invited to go diving into the Rotorua lakes—without having to get wet.
Robotic vehicle on the lookout for biosecurity pests
Foreign marine pests can threaten our marine life and it’s important to find them early before they can set up home here.
Hazardous and murky conditions in our ports and marinas can make it challenging for divers to carry out important biosecurity inspections for introduced pest species. NIWA scientists are pioneering the use of underwater remote operated vehicle (ROV) technology to improve surveillance checks.

Freshwater Update 80 brings you the latest information from our Freshwater & Estuaries Centre, with articles that cross a broad spectrum of freshwater research. This edition has articles about the sources of plastics in our waterways, the discovery of long-lost lake plant species and a breakthrough in research about freshwater mussels/kākahi.

Freshwater Update 79 brings you the latest information from our Freshwater & Estuaries Centre, with articles ranging from NIWA working with NASA; restoring a stream catchment in Kaikōura; looking after urban water; keeping soil and reducing sedimentation; to culling catfish.

Scientists have launched a worldwide crowdsourcing competition aimed at finding novel ideas to tackle invasive marine pests, with a cash prize of $US10,000 on offer.
Every year NIWA carries out numerous marine surveillance missions, surveys at ports and harbours around the country. Their divers are looking for the pests that have hitched a ride to New Zealand waters and are capable of destroying our unique ecosystems and shellfish industry.

Our native marine life and ecosystems are vulnerable to non-native marine pests entering our coastal environments. These marine pests have been introduced to Aotearoa on boats arriving at our ports and harbours and can spread easily through ballast water and hull fouling.

Our native marine life and ecosystems are vulnerable to non-native marine pests entering our coastal environments. These marine pests have been introduced to Aotearoa on boats arriving at our ports and harbours and can spread easily through ballast water and hull fouling.

When you are at the beach or harbours this summer, don't be surprised if you see sea squirts - marine animals we commonly see attached to rocks and wharf piles that have two siphons on the top of their bodies, one to draw in water and the other to expel it. When disturbed, sea squirts contract their siphons, expelling streams of water—hence their name.

NIWA has recently completed a national project for modelling the leaching of copper from antifouling paints on vessels' hulls.

This programme will improve our ability to reduce the risk of freshwater invasive species entering and establishing in New Zealand.
A significant threat to the biosecurity of New Zealand's freshwater habitats comes from plants that have been intentionally introduced.
This is a series of fact sheets on alien fish, invertebrate, algal and weed species that are recorded in New Zealand freshwaters.

Understanding how material released into the ocean spreads is very important in the case of oil spills, sediment transport and the release of invasive species. 

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All staff working on this subject

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Population Modeller
Assistant Regional Manager - Christchurch
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Marine Invertebrate Systematist
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Marine Biologist (Biosecurity)
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Environmental Monitoring Technician
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Fisheries Scientist
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Marine Ecology Technician
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Environmental Scientist
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Enviromental Chemistry and Toxicology Technician
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