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.
Harnessing environmental DNA to reveal biogeographical patterns of non‑indigenous species for improved co‑governance of the marine environment in Aotearoa New Zealand
A case study on using eDNA to enhance marine biosecurity in New Zealand has recently been published in collaboration with the Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, the Northland Regional Council and Patuharakeke Te Iwi Trust.
As part of the MBIE-funded ‘Transforming Coastal Monitoring’ research programme, the Detect team went on another mission of eDNA outreach to the Otawhiwhi Marae in Tauranga Moana to showcase some of the eDNA tools developed in the Biosecurity Toolbox programme.
The Marine Biosecurity Toolbox “Detect” team recently held an environmental DNA (eDNA) biosecurity workshop during the CAWTHRON INSPIRE Festival.
Due to the recent exotic Caulerpa incursions along the coast of Northland, Northland Regional Council engaged scientists from the Marine Biosecurity Toolbox research programme to assist them with prioritizing locations for surveillance and readiness activities. The Manage&Respond team applied their prototype maritime pathway network model to predict critical risk locations.
Marine Biosecurity Toolbox equips Curious Minds project to ignite students’ interest in marine conservation
Collaboration with the Sails for Science NZ outreach program, engaging year 10 students in student-led detection of invasive species in the marine environment using molecular surveillance.
A new online tool called the Pest Alert Tool has been developed to screen high-throughput sequencing datasets for species of concern, providing a valuable resource for biodiversity management.
Scientists conducted a hands-on educational event at Nayland College, engaging hundreds of Year 9 students in activities related to marine biosecurity. The event aimed to inspire the students, build scientific literacy, and create pathways for future scientists.
Harnessing decay rates for coastal marine biosecurity applications: A review of environmental DNA and RNA fate
A review on the degradation mechanisms and fate of environmental nucleic acids (eNAs) in the marine environment, providing guidelines for accurate decay rates and emphasizing their importance in building effective marine biosecurity tools for target detection and biodiversity assessment.