Controlling the Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis) in Australia
Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment
for the Department of the Environment and Heritage, March 2004
About the report
The introduction of non-indigenous species can act as vectors for new diseases, alter ecosystem processes, reduce biodiversity (Vitousek et al. 1997), cause major economic loss (Mack et al. 2000; Bax et al. 2001) and disrupt human activities (Vermeij 1996).
In 1999, a growing concern about the potentially devastating impacts of introduced marine pests, led the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) and the Ministerial Council on Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture (MCFFA ) to agree to establish the National Taskforce on the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions. The Taskforce was instructed to report to the Ministerial Councils in 1999, through their respective standing committees, with recommendations both for interim improvements and for longer-term reforms to the national arrangements for the prevention and management of introduced marine pests.
The Taskforce report is underpinned by the principle that prevention through vector control is the best solution for managing marine pests because eradication programs can be very costly and controversial (Myers et al. 2000), and are not successful for the majority of non-indigenous species¹(Carlton 2001).
Prevention management minimises the risk of a species establishing by targeting responses to the early parts of the invasion process as depicted in Table 1 (Kolar and lodge, 2001). This preventative approach is also consistent with international policy of the management of non-indigenous species (Bax et al. 2001; United States National Invasive Species Council 2001).