Marine pests are invasive species that are not native to our Australian marine environment. They damage this environment by competing with native species for food and space, eating native species and smothering large areas of habitat. Marine pests can be transported by commercial and recreational vessels, attaching themselves to hulls, internal seawater systems, damp spaces or boating gear such as anchors, ropes and buckets. With more than one million recreational vessels in Australia, there is huge opportunity for pests to be inadvertently spread as boats move from one place to another.
In response to the threat that marine pests pose, research is also seeking new ways of detecting these pests.