MPSC Communique - May 2011

​Notes from MPSC 01 – 4 May 2011

Note from the MPSC Chair

As you may be aware, the Marine Pest Sectoral Committee (MPSC) held its first meeting on 4 May 2011 in Canberra. This was a very successful meeting with the committee agreeing its administrative and operational arrangements. The committee also agreed to a new arrangement where the position of Chair will be rotated between members every two years. The committee appointed South Australia as the Chair for the first rotation covering meetings MPSC02-MPSC05 with Dr Michael Sierp to Chair on behalf of South Australia.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Michael to the role of Chair and I am confident that with his extensive history with this sectoral committee and experience in the marine pest field Michael will be an exemplary Chair. I would like to thank the committee for all their hard work whilst I have been Chair particularly through the transition from the National Introduced Marine Pest Coordination Group (NIMPCG) to the Marine Pest Sectoral Committee and I wish the committee well in the work that is to be undertaken in the future.

I would also like to thank the industry representatives that prepared information or came to Canberra on 4 May to speak to the MPSC members on their industry and the linkages between their industries and marine pest management. I know that I speak for all of the committee when I say that the committee looks forward to working with you closely in the future on marine pest issues, particularly through the industry consultation workshop that will occur prior to each MPSC meeting.

Kind Regards
Jenny Cupit
Chair NIMPCG 28- MPSC01

Meeting Notes

Operation of the committee

The Committee discussed and agreed the operative and administrative arrangements of the committee, including the Terms of Reference, Standard Operating Guidelines and a Strategic Workplan. An overview of the operation of the committee can be found at Once finalised, the Committee’s Terms of Reference will be placed on this website.

The Committee appointed South Australia as the Chair for the first rotation covering meetings MPSC02-MPSC05. On behalf of South Australia Dr Michael Sierp has been appointed as the MPSC Chair.

The Committee also appointed three MPSC observers: CSIRO, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Environmental Protection Authority Victoria. The Committee will review the observer positions every 2 years to ensure that appointed observers are appropriate for the work being undertaken by the Committee. The Committee also appointed New Zealand as a standing observer.

Dr Michael Sierp - biography

Photo of Dr Michael Sierp with a dogDr Michael Sierp is a fisheries ecologist, academic and business manager specialising in water and aquatic species. He is currently the Manager, Marine Biosecurity at Biosecurity SA in the Department of Primary Industries and Resources SA and Team Leader for the development of the Australian Testing Centre for Marine Pests.

Dr Sierp has a science degree in marine biology with chemistry and an honours degree in freshwater aquaculture. In 2008, he was awarded a doctorate at Flinders University for his work on restructuring fisheries ecology to increase water quality in reservoirs and in 2010 he completed an MBA from the Australian Institute of Business Administration in Adelaide.

Prior to the establishment of the Marine Pest Sectoral Committee, Dr Sierp has been South Australia’s primary representative on the National Introduced Marine Pest Coordination Group (NIMPCG) since 2005 and a representative on the Consultative Committee for Introduced Marine Pest Emergencies (CCIMPE) since 2007.

From 2007- 2010 he led the survey, research, industry consultation and control exercises for PIRSA to manage wild Pacific oyster issues in South Australia, coordinating removal exercises over approximately 50 km of affected coastline. For this work, he jointly received the 2010 Biosecurity SA award for ‘Service to the Community’. He has driven many marine pest related development projects, several emergency management exercises and authored over 30 publications.

IMO – BLG 15 Update

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry provided the Committee with an update from the 15th meeting of the International Maritime Organization Sub-Committee Bulk Liquid and Gases held in London in February 2011.

A key outcome from the meeting was the finalisation of the 'Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species'. These Guidelines will be presented at the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting in July 2011 for adoption as an MEPC Resolution.

The Sub-committee also established a correspondence group to develop a circular on ballast water sampling and analysis protocols under the Ballast Water Management Convention to be presented at BLG16 in January 2012. Australia is a member of the correspondence group.

Review of CCIMPE Trigger List

The Committee recognised that in its current form the CCIMPE trigger list can no longer be used to guide emergency response actions, as it is not consistent with new national significance criteria set out in the draft 'National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement'. The committee agreed to establish two working groups, one to develop procedures for a review of the list and one to undertake the review.


The Committee noted that the validity of the port baseline survey data had expired and once again recognised the urgent need for monitoring to be completed in the 18 agreed National Monitoring Network locations. Since December 2010, monitoring has commenced in Port Hedland (WA), Port Dampier (WA), Freemantle (WA), Port Adelaide (SA) and Portland (Vic) and completed in the Port of Darwin (NT).

Marine pest monitoring activities are also occurring at some non-network locations with monitoring completed at Christmas Island and recently commenced at Skardon River (QLD) and Cape Lambert (WA).

Research and Development

The Committee agreed to review the National Strategy for Introduced Marine Pest Research and Development Strategy 2006-2016 and established a working group to undertake the review. The review provides an opportunity to ensure that the strategy continues to reflect appropriate priorities for marine pest research and development support.

Jurisdictional reports

Members provide jurisdictional reports to each MPSC meeting giving an overview of whole-of-government activities related to marine pest biosecurity risks in each member jurisdiction.

Key activities reported to MPSC 01 included:

  • NSW is preparing draft guidelines for a whole-of-government approach to inspecting and responding to suspected marine pest incursions.
  • SA is continuing to develop the Australian Testing Centre for Marine Pests and a new business case to secure future funding is being prepared.
  • A marine pest awareness and communication program has been delivered to commercial fishers in Commonwealth, SA and NT fisheries through OceanWatch and its team of SeaNet officers.

Upcoming meetings

The Committee agreed that MPSC meetings will rotate around the jurisdictions with upcoming meetings planned as follows:

  • MPSC02: 9-10 November 2011 in QLD
  • MPSC03: May 2012 in NSW
  • MPSC04: October 2012 in WA
Table of members





Jenny Cupit
(Chair- MPSC 01 only)

Australian Government

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry


Karina Scott

Australian Government

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry


David Forsyth

Australian Government

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Rae Burrows

Western Australia

Department of Fisheries

Michael Sierp

South Australia

Biosecurity SA
08 8207 7838

Jane Frances

New South Wales

Department of Primary Industries
Aquatic Pests Hotline
Ph: 02 4916 3877

Helen Cribb

Northern Territory

Department of Resources

Simon Smith


Department of Sustainability and Environment

Frank Keenan


Biosecurity Queensland
Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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