Updating the Vessel Check biofouling risk assessment framework

Project ID: 190803

Project Name: Updating the vessel check biofouling risk assessment framework

CEBRA Project Leaders: Edith Arndt and Susie Hester

DAWE Project Sponsor: Peter Stoutjesdijk, Director, Aquatic and Marine Biosecurity Section, Animal
Biosecurity Branch, Biosecurity Animal Division

DAWE Project Leaders: Bartholomew Woodham, Aquatic and Marine Biosecurity Section, Animal
Biosecurity Branch, Biosecurity Animal Division; Jason Garwood, Aquatic and Marine Biosecurity Section, Animal Biosecurity Branch, Biosecurity Animal Division

Collaborators: Dave Abdo – WA DPIRD; Justin McDonald – WA DPIRD; Eugene Georgiades – NZ MPI; Dan Kluza – NZ MPI

Biofouling is the transport of sessile organisms (eg. Mussels, starfish, clams, fanworms) attached to hard surfaces on vessels which can establish populations at new locations (Barry et al., 2015). It is widely recognised as one of the most significant pathways for the introduction of non-indigenous marine species that can cause severe social, environmental and economic impacts (MEPC.207(62), 2011). Currently there are no legislative requirements under the Quarantine Act 1908 or the Biosecurity Act 2015 that deal with biofouling. The 2015 Review of National Marine Pest Biosecurity (the Review, DAWR, 2015) recommended developing regulations to set an internationally consistent direction in the management of biosecurity risks associated with biofouling of vessels.

In 2015, Western Australia developed Vessel Check, an online biofouling risk assessment tool, modifying DAWR’s own Marine Growth Risk Assessment tool, building a new user interface and updating the assessment framework to bring it in line with Western Australia’s biofouling requirements.

This project will deliver one literature review (‘Biofouling science document’), a draft process model and an assessment of the current metrics used in Vessel Check 2.0 as separate documents.

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