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

This project seeks to understand and better implement a Māori perspective within the current marine biosecurity system in New Zealand.
A significant threat to the biosecurity of New Zealand's freshwater habitats comes from plants that have been intentionally introduced.
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.

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.
The type of control or ways of managing aquatic weeds can be conveniently grouped as mechanical, habitat manipulation, biological, chemical or integrated control.
Find out more about submerged aquatic plant species.
Find out more about free floating species.
Aquatic plants have different lifeforms and habitats.
Find out more about emergent aquatic plants.
Learn more about aquatic plants.
Publications related to this section.
Today over 90% of New Zealand’s original wetlands have been drained and only 23% of New Zealand has an indigenous forest cover. Such dramatic changes in land use have had a significant impact on the lakes and waterways.
Definitions of terms used in this section.
Publications related to this section.
An ability to discover basic information about plants in waterways is the foundation to solving a spectrum of problems that face our freshwaters today.
Strengthening the lines of defence against weed invasions; from border, to battles for control.
Articles related to this section.
Articles related to our Freshwater and Estuaries-related biodiversity services.
The centre provides research, services and solutions spanning the spectrum of freshwater plant problems within New Zealand.

Researchers from NIWA will be surveying Kaipara Harbour and marinas for foreign marine organisms next week.

Researchers from NIWA have recently surveyed ports at Milford Sound (Fiordland) and Taharoa Ironsands Terminal (Waikato) for foreign marine organisms.

A major marine survey and monitoring programme designed to detect new exotic species before they become established in New Zealand waters kicks off in Northland today.

New Zealand’s marine and freshwater environments are extremely important for our economic and social welfare, but they are under constant pressure from human uses and introductions of new invasive species.

There are more than 150 exotic marine species in New Zealand’s coastal waters already, and at least one new species arrives every year according to a report in NIWA’s new Aquatic Biodiversity & Biosecurity newsletter, published today.

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All staff working on this subject

Population Modeller
Principal Scientist - Freshwater Ecology
Manager - Coasts and Oceans
Assistant Regional Manager - Christchurch
Marine Biology Technician
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Marine Invertebrate Systematist
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Regional Manager - Wellington
Fisheries Scientist
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Environmental Monitoring Technician
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Freshwater Ecologist
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Marine Ecology Technician
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Environmental Scientist
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Principal Technician - Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology
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