Need for more info as fanworm found

Most recent discoveries ‘a wake-up call’.

Most recent discoveries ‘a wake-up call’.

PORT PEST: More fanworms have been found in Gisborne port. File picture

Vessel owners need to be given more information on fanworms after the discovery of more of these marine pests in Gisborne port, says district council environmental and science manager Lois Easton.

Ms Easton told the council’s environmental planning and regulations committee that Gisborne and neighbouring ports were looking at a passport system to confirm that vessels moving from port to port were clear.

The most recent inspection resulted in four fanworm being discovered — two in the inner harbour area and two on a vessel that had recently arrived at the port.

All had been collected and sent for lab testing to see how old they were, whether they had been brought in to the port or alighted on the vessel while it was in port.

“That is quite an important finding for us because we have not previously found fanworm on any vessels,” she said.

The council would have to step up the information it was providing to boatowners following this “wake-up call”.

The council was working with other councils on a marine passport plan that would require a passport for vessels moving between ports.

Committee chairwoman Pat Seymour said it seemed that each time the council carried out surveillance, fanworm had been found.

Ms Easton said the surveillance had been going on for three years. In each case, the fanworm found had not been spawning and were immature.

There had been difficulty getting access to the main berth and it had not been possible to check that area every time.

This posed the question as to whether there were some fanworm that had not been found that had arrived with a vessel.

Mrs Seymour said it was important because this pest was just as bad as the invasive velvetleaf in a corn crop.

Vessel owners need to be given more information on fanworms after the discovery of more of these marine pests in Gisborne port, says district council environmental and science manager Lois Easton.

Ms Easton told the council’s environmental planning and regulations committee that Gisborne and neighbouring ports were looking at a passport system to confirm that vessels moving from port to port were clear.

The most recent inspection resulted in four fanworm being discovered — two in the inner harbour area and two on a vessel that had recently arrived at the port.

All had been collected and sent for lab testing to see how old they were, whether they had been brought in to the port or alighted on the vessel while it was in port.

“That is quite an important finding for us because we have not previously found fanworm on any vessels,” she said.

The council would have to step up the information it was providing to boatowners following this “wake-up call”.

The council was working with other councils on a marine passport plan that would require a passport for vessels moving between ports.

Committee chairwoman Pat Seymour said it seemed that each time the council carried out surveillance, fanworm had been found.

Ms Easton said the surveillance had been going on for three years. In each case, the fanworm found had not been spawning and were immature.

There had been difficulty getting access to the main berth and it had not been possible to check that area every time.

This posed the question as to whether there were some fanworm that had not been found that had arrived with a vessel.

Mrs Seymour said it was important because this pest was just as bad as the invasive velvetleaf in a corn crop.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    ​​If the council does proceed with an online voting option for the 2019 election, will you likely vote online or by ballot paper?