MPSC Communique - October 2013

​​Notes from the Chair

The Marine Pest Sectoral Committee (MPSC) held its sixth meeting in Melbourne in October 2013. This was my first MPSC meeting and also my first as Chair. You may remember that Jenny Cupit was to take over from Michael Sierp as MPSC Chair at this meeting, however Jenny has moved to another position within the Department of Agriculture and I have stepped into her former role.

The Industry Consultation Day was extremely valuable for me as it gave me the opportunity to meet industry representatives for the first time and hear their views on a range of important issues prior to the MPSC meeting itself the following day.

As incoming Chair, I would like to thank Michael Sierp for his contribution in steering the committee to some significant achievements over the last two years including finalising the National biofouling management guidelines for the aquaculture industry and the National priorities for introduced marine pest research and development 2013 – 2023.

The committee has also made headway on development of the National Marine Pest Biosecurity Strategy and the challenging issue of cost sharing arrangements for marine pest monitoring. These last two issues will remain a major focus for the committee over the coming year.

I look forward to working closely with the committee over the coming months to progress these issues.

Carol Sheridan
Chair MPSC06

Industry Consultation Day—23 Oct 2013

Industry partners joined with committee members to discuss a range of marine pest issues. The day started with an update from the Commonwealth on the progress of the ballast water legislation, followed by discussion on options for monitoring and enforcement of compliance with the proposed new regulations.

There was a general discussion on ways that industry could become more involved in the work of the committee, resulting in industry nominations to join most of the committee working groups. Industry was very interested in the work of the National Monitoring Network Cost Sharing Working Group, providing input into the working group terms of reference and also putting forward their respective positions on the working group’s concept paper.

MPSC06 Meeting Notes—24 October 2013

Jurisdictional reports

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

Key activities reported to MPSC06 include:

  • Both NSW and NT have distributed marine pest educative material to local stakeholders including fishing tackle shops, public marinas, slipways and boating yards, chandlers and government agencies.
  • The WA Pest Watch crowd sourcing app has had good take-up with aquatic species being identified in several new locations.
  • The Australian Government advised that the Antifouling and in-water cleaning guidelines are now in operation following endorsement by the Standing Committee on Primary Industries in June 2013.
  • QLD is developing new biosecurity legislation.
  • New Zealand will soon release new biofouling border requirements. These requirements stipulate that vessels must be ‘clean’ on arrival. Vessels remaining in NZ for 20 days or more are allowed slime only, with a less stringent requirement for short-stay vessels. The requirements will initially be voluntary with enforcement commencing after an anticipated four-year lead in period.

New marine pest research papers

Several new research papers have been released by jurisdictions since the previous meeting as follows.

  • (WA) Department of Fisheries, 2013, ‘Feasibility of using remote-operated vehicles (ROVs) for vessel biofouling inspections. Fisheries Occasional Paper 117.
  • (WA) Department of Fisheries, 2013, ‘In-water hull cleaning and filtration system: In-water cleaning trials Report 1’. Fisheries Occasional Paper no. 114.
  • (WA) Department of Fisheries, 2013, ‘In-water cleaning system cost and cost benefit analysis Report 2’. Fisheries Occasional Paper No. 115.
  • Hewitt, M.J. and McDonald, J.I. (2013) The efficacy of crab condos in capturing small crab species and their use in invasive marine species monitoring. Management of Biological Invasions, 4(2): 149-153.
  • Whiltshire K.H., Deveney M.R. (2013) Caulerpa taxifolia – 2013 community monitoring in Barker Inlet and Port River. South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide. SARDI Publication No. F2013/000409-1. SARDI Research Report Series No. 704. 11pp. 

Working group membership

Industry will now be represented on the following MPSC working groups and subcommittee:
  • Marinas and Slipways Working Group
  • National Marine Pest Strategy Working Group
  • National Monitoring Network Cost Sharing Working Group
  • Marine Invasive Species Diagnostics Working Group
  • Freshwater Invertebrate Pests Subcommittee (observer status).

MPSC will develop operating guidelines which outline the expectations on all working group participants. The guidelines will be incorporated into the terms of reference for all working groups.

National biofouling management guidelines

The National biofouling management guidelines for the aquaculture industry have now been published and are available on the marine pest website.

These guidelines are part of a set of six national biofouling management guidelines aimed at providing practical information for vessel operators and managers of marine based enterprises. Feedback from MPSC members indicates that these guidelines remain a useful management tool for industry. MPSC has decided to review the five older guidelines in the series for consistency with the Antifouling and in-water cleaning guidelines and the IMO’s Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ships' Biofouling to Minimise the Transfer of Invasive Aquatic Species.

International Maritime Organisation meeting

The 65th session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) was held in London from 13 May 2013.

MEPC granted Basic Approval to three ballast water management systems using active substances and Final Approval to three other systems that also use active substances. MEPC were also notified of the Type Approval of a further five ballast water management systems.

MEPC also approved a draft Assembly resolution on the implementation of Regulation B-3 of the Ballast Water Management Convention. This resolution was submitted to the 28th session of the IMO Assembly for adoption.

MPSC priorities for 2013-2014

The committee will focus on the following priority areas in 2013-2014:

  • cost sharing/recovery for monitoring of the National Monitoring Network
  • developing the National Priority Marine Pests List
  • reviewing the monitoring strategy for the National Monitoring Network
  • progressing the National Marine Pest Biosecurity Strategy.

Upcoming MPSC meetings

MPSC meetings rotate around the jurisdictions. The next meeting (MPSC07) will be held on 29 May 2014 in Darwin, NT.

Member contacts





Carol Sheridan (Chair)

Australian Government

Department of Agriculture

Peter Stoutjesdijk

Australian Government

Department of Agriculture

Anne Ferguson

Australian Government

Department of the Environment

Rae Burrows

Western Australia

Department of Fisheries

Andrew Sanger

New South Wales

Department of Primary Industries

Murray Barton

Northern Territory

Department of Resources

Stuart McConnell


Department of Environment and Primary Industries

John Robertson


Biosecurity Queensland

Michael Sierp

South Australia

Biosecurity SA
08 8207 7838

Cheryle Hislop


Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
02 6165 3151

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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