Marine pests are non–native (or non-indigenous) marine organisms that have been introduced to locations outside of their normal range. There are approximately 50 species of marine pest in South Australia.
Until 2008, Kangaroo Island was believed to be free of marine pests. But in February of that year a specimen of the introduced European fan worm was found and removed from the Kingscote jetty. Consequently, the Coast and Marine Program has run an on-going surveillance and detection program for marine pests by conducting surveys at key vessel entry points, such as Kingscote, American River and Christmas Cove. See Report (2.10 MB)
As a result of this program, several more fan worms have been found and removed from the Kingscote jetty and nearby slipway, and other specimens have been found on the seabed in Bay of Shoals. These were brought to KI on cruising yachts from Marina St Vincent at Wirrina, which is heavily infested with fan worms.
Above: Locations of European fan worm discoveries at Kingscote. Click to enlage.
The Coast and Marine Program has also initiated public education and awareness campaigns by delivering talks to Adelaide cruising yacht clubs and collaborating with Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges in installing signage at on- and off-island marinas.
Above: Sign erected at several Kangaroo Island marinas.
Click here to download the Marine Pest Surveys 2008-2009 Report. (2.10 MB)