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.
Catch up on the research highlights from our third programme year, which we just collectively celebrated at Patuharakeke Iwi's Takahiwai Marae in Northland!
Watch the video voiced by doctoral candidate Joe Rawlinson, which describes the problem of marine biofouling, existing control options, and nature-inspired antifouling solutions.
The results of our recent experimental study suggest that bio-based polymers and composites with increased potential for biodegradability, recyclability, and aptitude for the selective recruitment of marine invertebrates might offer a sustainable alternative to conventional polymers.
Our programme's recreational vessel survey received over 1,800 individual responses from throughout the country. To our knowledge, they represent the largest recreational vessel movement dataset ever collected.
On 20 June, around twenty biosecurity and technical diving specialists from around New Zealand attended a 1-day workshop in Manukau to discuss boat biofouling and the Level of Fouling (LOF) rank scale. The workshop addressed the range of approaches for vessel hull surveys in NZ and the design of operational and training resources for use of the LOF scale.
A rapid molecular assay for detecting the Mediterranean fanworm developed by DETECT team and trialed by non-scientist users
Learn about the new species-specific recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assay designed for the fanworm detection from eDNA samples and insights on its applicability for citizen scientists-driven biosecurity surveillance.
Watch Michelle's talk on experimental study of environmental DNA & RNA fate for biosecurity applications, presented at the first Australia & New Zealand eDNA webinar.
An experimental study was conducted to test different filter membranes for capturing eDNA/eRNA in the context of cost/time effort and cell fractions encountered in nature. For the first time a formal efficiency modelling was applied in eDNA and eRNA research to assist decision-making around an optimized sampling approach.