In a concerning turn of events, the outbreak of the invasive seaweed species Exotic Caulerpa (Caulerpa parvifolia and Caulerpa brachypus) recently found around Waiheke Island has been undergoing a growth spurt. NIWA and marine science experts have not yet been able to define the edges and determine the extent of the outbreak.
This raises significant environmental concerns as Caulerpa poses a potential threat to our marine ecosystem. Exotic Caulerpa is known for its rapid growth and ability to outcompete native marine vegetation. Only a 1mm piece of Caulerpa is needed in order for this seaweed to self propagate elsewhere. This can lead to profound ecological imbalances, and puts all marine regeneration efforts at risk. It has the potential to disrupt local fish habitats, and threatens the diverse marine life that surrounds the motu.
To mitigate the spread of this invasive species, Ngāti Paoa is asking for cooperation from the local community, and the fishing & boating communities from further afield, to avoid disturbing the seabed and anchoring in these areas as it risks unwittingly aiding the dispersal of Caulerpa fragments, thereby exacerbating the problem.
A rāhui (restriction) on boats and other sea vessels will be laid on disturbing the seabed, or anchoring within 1 nautical mile (1.8 kilometres) of Thompson's Point or Onetangi bay, where the outbreak has been identified. This is to help prevent further proliferation.
It is crucial these precautionary measures are respected in order to curb the Caulerpa outbreak, and as Ngāti Paoa and the local Waiheke community work together to do everything possible to eradicate Caulerpa from Waiheke shores.
Kauaka e mate wheke, engari me mate ururoa tātou, mā te hemo tonu atu!!
Contact Ngāti Pāoa:
Blair Anderson email@example.com
Mereana Berger firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow the button below to the Biosecurity website that provides further information on the exotic Caulerpa: