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.
With the experienced science teacher onboard we are aiming to develop an engaging educational toolkit that brings eDNA technologies into the classroom, introducing students to the cutting edge molecular technologies and building up a strong sense of kaitiakitanga for their local environment.
In the last two years the Detect team worked towards integrating DNA (eDNA) tools into New Zealand schools’ curriculum. The scientists have actively engaged with a range of schools and year groups to showcase a variety of marine biosecurity concepts and detection tools, including eDNA technologies.
Researchers from the MANAGE AND RESPOND and ECONOMICS AND DECISION SUPPORT teams have joined forces to work towards an understanding of the factors that encourage or discourage hull cleaning behavior of the recreational boat owners in New Zealand.
In 2021, the DETECT team had a big year on the water participating in two research expeditions, in two very distant and ecologically different areas of Aotearoa: Northland and Fiordland. These expeditions allowed us to collect valuable data on distribution of the high-profile non-indigenous species while testing our optimized molecular surveillance tools and protocols.
Our 12-14 day expedition will collect microplastics and biosecurity data in the Hauraki Gulf & Islands areas and Whangarei, whilst exploring the wider marine environment of coastal Greater Auckland and Northland. This interdisciplinary oceanic research expedition aims to inspire and engage the public and educate people about the importance of working collaboratively to preserve a healthy ocean.
An open-access peer-reviewed publication aimed to facilitate dialogue and innovation within this sector by reviewing current approaches for sample collection, post-sampling capture and concentration of eDNA, preservation, and extraction, all through a biosecurity monitoring lens.