Effective biosecurity systems are essential to protect and add value to the world’s marine environments, and their associated commercial, cultural, and recreational values. The Marine Biosecurity Toolbox is a collaborative research programme whose mission is the development of science-based tools and technologies that empower governments, tangata whenua, industry and the public to effectively mitigate biosecurity risks. To realise this mission, the programme will develop a range of ‘tools’ that proactively prevent pest establishment, allow timely detection of incursions, and inform effective response strategies. Once implemented, these tools will enable a robust biosecurity system that adapts to future challenges and presents multiple barriers to the establishment and spread of marine non-indigenous species.
Teaming-up with the Five Million: Exploring motivation of Kiwis to participate in the detection of marine pests
To get a glimpse of citizens’ attitudes towards biosecurity in the marine environment and marine pest detection activities, the programme team run a focus group in collaboration with partner schools in Nelson.
On 10 November 2020 the entire Biosecurity Toolbox programme team got together for our first Annual Programme Day. We reviewed and shared achievements made across all work streams, discussed challenges and opportunities and further strengthened the programme’s team spirit.
We have started to employ modelling approaches to better understand and predict the dispersal of eDNA in the marine environment. Learn about our first field sampling campaign for testing whether the developed model can robustly predict where and when in the tidal cycle eDNA can be detected.
Right on-the-spot! How a human biologist became engaged in developing a rapid molecular test for marine pest detection
Learn how Martin Zirngibl is contributing his knowledge and skills gained in a human biology field to developing a rapid and easy-to-apply in-field test for the Mediterranean fanworm detection.
We have commenced a series of hands-on activities with partner teachers to introduce them to key concepts in marine ecology and biosecurity, molecular methods and useful resources for incorporation into the schools’ curriculum and for future citizen scientists engaged in molecular biosecurity surveillance.
Our project is making a start using the endemic, green-lipped mussel (kutai) to develop artificial surfaces that are attractive to native species and make them want to settle and stay for the long haul. Such surfaces can then be incorporated into coastal infrastructure, a process referred to as ‘ecological engineering’.
Our recent experimental trials demonstrate that bubble streams are highly effective in controlling biofouling accumulation on experimental surfaces, and we are now keenly focused on developing operational systems to deploy in New Zealand’s ports and marinas
Better ways to capture DNA and RNA from water – collaboration with Dr. Holly Bowers from Moss Landing Marine Labs
Holly Bowers joined our group as a visiting researcher and worked with the DETECT and ECONOMICS & DECISION-SUPPORT teams to define better (and more efficient) methods to capture nucleic acids (environmental DNA and RNA) from marine waters.