Two species of exotic caulerpa seaweed (Caulerpa brachypus and Caulerpa parvifolia) have been found in the North of New Zealand.
Biosecurity New Zealand says the invasive marine pest has the potential to seriously harm and transform coastal environments.
Exotic caulerpa has been found in the following Hauraki Gulf Marine Park locations:
- Aotea Great Barrier Island: Blind Bay, Whangaparapara Harbour, Tryphena Harbour and southern Port Fitzroy;
- Ahuahu Great Mercury Island: between Ahikopua Point and Maunganui Point;
- Kawau Island: Iris Shoal;
- Waiheke Island: Onetangi Bay and around Thompsons Point.
If you are boating, there is no anchoring and fishing in these areas. In the Auckland region, a Controlled Area Notice (CAN) is in place at Aotea Great Barrier Island, legally restricting some boating and fishing activities. Mana whenua have imposed rāhui in Aotea Great Barrier Island and Waiheke Island with similar restrictions.
If you are out walking on the beach or out on the water, please be vigilant and if you think you see exotic caulerpa, note the location, take a photo and report it to Biosecurity New Zealand on 0800 80 99 66 or online at report.mpi.govt.nz.