Marine pests

The Auckland region has over 3000km of coastline, including three major harbours. It is considered a high risk area for marine pest invasion.

Our responsibility

Marine pest invasion in Auckland is inevitable. This is due to the large number of recreational and commercial activities operating in the area, especially around the Ports of Auckland.

Invasive marine species pose risks to our environment, economy, culture, as well as social and recreational activities (boating, fishing).

We have a responsibility to:

  • prevent the spread of invasive marine species
  • minimise the risks to the marine environment by invasive species.

    Marine pests to know

    About 260 non-indigenous marine species have been identified in New Zealand. Of these species, 141 are known to occur in the Hauraki Gulf alone.

    Marine pests currently of interest within the Auckland region include:

    Asian Paddle Crab.

    Asian paddle crab - Charybdis japonica (PDF 453KB)

    Photo credit: S Wilkens, NIWA

    Australian droplet tunicate

    Australian droplet tunicate (Eudistoma elongatum PDF 526KB)


    Clubbed tunicate/leathery seasquirt

    Clubbed tunicate/leathery seasquirt (Styela clava PDF 518KB)

    Photo credit: Northland Regional Council

    Meditteranean fanworm

    Meditteranean fanworm (Sabella spallanzanii PDF 530KB)

    Photo credit: Hamish Lass, BOP Regional Council



    Pyura (Pyura doppelgangera PDF 366KB)

    Photo credit: Northland Regional Council


    Undaria (Undaria pinnatifida PDF 453KB)

    Photo credit: K. Blakemore, Department of Conservation


    How to stop marine pests spreading

    Species spread by way of hull-fouling and ballast water.  

    Here are some tips to help stop the spread of marine pests:

    • clean your hull (out of the water) before you leave, including the propeller and anchor
    • clean all recreational gear including fishing and diving gear
    • check the marine biosecurity rules in other regions before leaving.

    The Auckland Unitary Plan will have rules in place when the plan becomes operational later this year.

    For further information, see Marine Pests and Boaties (PDF 353KB).

    If you are travelling to other regions, see the Boaties guide to marine pests website for specific pest control in those areas.

    Report a marine pest

    If you think you’ve seen a marine pest outside its known location, then note the location and take a photo or sample if you can and report it to:

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