MPSC Communique - May 2013

​​Notes from the MPSC Chair

Photograph of MPSC Chair - Doctor Michael Sierp. 

The fifth meeting of the Marine Pest Sectoral Committee was South Australia’s last as chairing jurisdiction. It was held at the Adelaide Town Hall in the Prince Alfred Room. It was pleasing to see several challenging projects signed off by the committee and the solid progress of all of the working groups. The outcomes represent considerable efforts by many people from diverse occupations working towards a solid collaborative approach.

The committee endorsed the ‘National biofouling management guidelines for the aquaculture industry’ which illustrated the commitment and drive of the working group members as the guidelines had failed twice since the first draft in 2008. A completely new approach was required. Proof that some projects are very difficult but working smarter, not harder is the key to success.

The resolution of the CCIMPE trigger list issue to generate a National Priority Marine Pests List and sub-list of emergency species will open the opportunity for the next working group to generate the criteria and a list will be populated in the coming MPSC meetings. This is a significant priority for the committee and should be progressed as soon as possible. This issue was raised by industry several times in the week following MPSC05 at the ANZPAC Workshop on Biofouling Management for Sustainable Shipping in Melbourne.

The committee also endorsed the National Marine Pests Research and Development Priorities, National Marine Pests Taxonomists List, Freshwater Invertebrate Pests Subcommittee (FIPS) Terms of Reference (TOR), released the TOR for the National marine pest biosecurity strategy working group and resolved some aspects of action processing (governance) which will stream line secretariat, chair and committee business in the future. As the National Marine Pest Strategy and National Monitoring Network Cost Sharing arrangements are progressing well, I’ll be leaving the Chairing role from MPSC with a solid direction and several resolutions fulfilled.

The MPSC will re-welcome Jenny Cupit from the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry back to the role of chair at MPSC-06. Jenny was an excellent chair during NIMPCG and guided the committee through the transition to the MPSC so the momentum of the MPSC will continue.

Finally I would like to thank all of the MPSC members and the staff at DAFF in the Invasive Marine Species Group for their supporting work as secretariat. It’s been a great experience with some very difficult targets. I’m pleased we reached them. I’ll look forward to being involved in the MPSC as I resume my role as South Australian representative and beyond.

Thanks for your patronage everyone. Carry on.

Dr Michael Sierp
Chair MPSC 02-05
Member NIMPCG 15-30

Industry workshop and field trip

The industry workshop started with a presentation from Mrs Alex Gaut on the Reef Watch Feral and In Peril program run by the Conservation Council of SA. Reef Watch has been a valuable management stakeholder towards the marine pest agenda in SA using citizen science to raise and improve passive surveillance across the state and educate South Australians about the risks of marine pests. The Reef Watch program is being trialled in other states which will strengthen our ability to respond to emergencies.

Discussion of the MPSC agenda concentrated on the release of documents to industry from the MPSC resolutions to be discussed the next day. After the MPSC agenda was discussed, industry thanked the Chair for his efforts over the last 2.5 years.

The field trip began with a one hour bus ride to Adelaide University’s Roseworthy Veterinarian Science Laboratories and the South Australian Research and Development Institute’s new Marine Biosecurity Research Facility. These relatively new facilities are world class and will progress some of the marine pest agenda’s species specific research in the future. They are available to be contracted to government and industry stakeholders Australia wide for research and development purposes.

From Roseworthy the bus took the MPSC and industry members for a tour of the Barossa Valley wine region including the historic town of Tanunda, the sculptures at Mengler’s Hill from Tour Down Under fame and finally to Hentley Farm Winery in Seppeltsfield for an amazing dinner matched with equally impressive wines. The field trip and industry dinner illustrated the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA’s motto of ‘Premium Food and Wine from our Clean Environment’ extremely well.

MPSC05 Meeting Notes – May 2013

Jurisdictional reports

Committee members provide reports to each MPSC meeting summarising marine pest biosecurity activities within each member jurisdiction.

Key activities reported to MPSC05 include:

  • WA announced the launch in May 2013 of a new application—WA PestWatch—to assist the community to report sightings of aquatic pests. The PestWatch application has been designed for use on smart phones and tablets and can also be accessed via the web.
  • NSW, SA, and WA all reported that marine biosecurity staff have participated in incident management training.
  • Vic reported that the range extension of Northern Pacific seastar (Asterias amurensis) to Tidal River on Wilson‘s Promontory appears to have been caused by larval transfer by water flows, not by vessels.

National marine pest biosecurity strategy

Following on from last year‘s stakeholder workshop, MPSC has continued to develop a National Marine Pest Biosecurity Strategy. A working group has been formed to guide the further development of the strategy. Further stakeholder consultation is scheduled to occur over the coming months and the final strategy is expected to be submitted to NBC for endorsement in 2013-14.

National monitoring network cost sharing working group

The National Monitoring Network Cost Sharing Working Group will develop a proposal to hold a stakeholder workshop on a cost sharing/recovery framework in conjunction with MPSC06.

Biofouling management guidelines for aquaculture

MPSC05 endorsed the National biofouling management guidelines for the aquaculture industry. These guidelines have undergone extensive consultation with industry stakeholders and will soon be available on the marine pest website.

These guidelines are part of a set of national biofouling management guidelines aimed at providing practical information for vessel operators and managers of marine based enterprises.

Marinas and slipways working group

MPSC has established a working group to develop national biofouling management guidelines for marinas and slipways. The terms of reference for this working group were agreed at MPSC02 but the establishment of the working group was delayed. Once finalised, these guidelines will complement the existing biofouling management guidelines for a range of vessels sectors.

Research and development

MPSC05 endorsed new research and development priorities designed to provide focus and direction to future investment in marine pest research and underpin marine pest management in Australia.

These priorities replace the current R&D strategy and will soon be available for researchers and funding bodies on the marine pest website.

Australia’s marine diagnostic capacity

MPSC has recently updated its list of taxonomists with expertise in marine invasive species. The list of current Australian taxonomists has been completed to identify gaps in expertise. It therefore does not include retired taxonomists, even though they may be able to provide taxonomy services. If anyone with relevant expertise would like to be added the list, please contact the MPSC secretariat.

International Maritime Organization meeting

The 17th meeting of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Bulk Liquids and Gases (BLG) was held in London from 4 February 2013.
BLG 17 finalised a draft circular on ballast water sampling and analysis which will be submitted to MEPC 65 for approval. As some of the sampling and analysis methods are yet to be validated, or need refinement, a two to three year trial period will be implemented once the Ballast Water Management Convention comes into force. This will allow the sampling and analysis methods to be evaluated and reviewed with a view to developing agreed standardised protocols for use by port State control to assess compliance with regulation D-2 of the convention.

During the trial period port States would refrain from applying criminal sanctions or detaining vessels based on sampling alone, but may still take preventative measures to protect the environment, human health, property or resources. Although it is uncertain when the convention will come into force, several countries have previously cited the lack of an agreed, standardised sampling protocol as a key reason for not having ratified the convention.

BLG 17 also finalised a draft Circular on guidance for evaluating the effectiveness of the IMO biofouling guidelines and agreed to forward the document to MEPC 65 for approval. The circular provides guidance on evaluation processes and performance measures that could be used to evaluate whether the IMO biofouling guidelines are improving industry biofouling management practices, and in turn, to determine if mandatory measures for the management of ships’ biofouling are necessary.

Upcoming MPSC meetings

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

  • MPSC06: 24 October 2013 in Victoria
  • MPSC07: May 2014 in Northern Territory

Member Information

Member Jurisdiction Agency Contact
Michael Sierp
(Chair-MPSC 04)
South Australia Biosecurity SA
08 8207 7838
Karina Keast Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Joanne Nathan Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Rae Burrows Western Australia Department of Fisheries
Jane Frances New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
Aquatic Pests Hotline - Ph: 02 4916 3877
Murray Barton Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries
Stuart McConnell Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment
Gabrielle Vivian-Smith Queensland Biosecurity Queensland
Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry
Vic Neverauskas South Australia Biosecurity SA
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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