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Technical annual report 2000-01



Technical annual report 2000-01


Dept. of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical annual report; Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical and annual report; Reports; PublicationNT; Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).






Agriculture -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries

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Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295



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Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries 288 maintenance facilities resulted in the development of interim protocols to minimise the risk of an incursion of exotic aquatic pests similar to that of the black striped mussel recurring in Darwins four marinas. Cabinet approved a $20,000 per year contribution toward the cost of the inspection of vessels wishing to enter Darwin marinas during the financial years 1999/2000 and 2000/2001. In August 2000, the threat posed by apprehended vessels brought into Darwin Harbour became apparent during a routine Darwin Harbour diver survey when black striped mussels were discovered on the hull of an apprehended foreign fishing vessel. Subsequent negotiations with the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, the Australian Customs Service, Coastwatch and the Royal Australian Navy resulted in the development of inspection protocols designed to minimise the risk of apprehended vessels introducing aquatic pest species into Northern Territory waters. The APMP provides the only border control protection against the introduction of aquatic pests from international boating traffic. The project is resource expensive to the Aquatic Pest Management Program hence the desire to train third party inspectors to facilitate the adoption of an auditable, privately run cost recovered inspection service. The development of a specific training package is incorporated within the public education project. In addition to the current inspection protocols that are in place for vessels wishing to enter Darwin marinas and those apprehended by Commonwealth agencies, there is a need for further research in conjunction with the Port Corporation and ship repair and maintenance facilities. This will help to determine the level of risk associated with other vessel classes entering the waters of the Port of Darwin. Once such risk is identified, procedures will be developed and implemented. Increased commercial traffic resulting from the development of the East Arm Port facility, railway, and gas pipeline increases the risk of exotic species entering Northern Territory waters. The introduction of the AQIS Decision Support System sometime during 2001/2002 will not address the issues of non-ballasted vessels and as such any vessel inspection protocols developed and implemented by the APMP represents Australias sole defence against the introduction of aquatic pests via boating traffic. As such other States are looking to the Northern Territory for guidance on policy that works to exclude aquatic species, which can be introduced by international boating traffic. Results: The vessel inspection program has processed a total of 364 vessels since its inception in May 1999. The number of vessels processed during 2000/2001 increased by 160% from 134 to 252. A strong seasonal influence is obvious as approximately 80% of total vessels are inspected during the Dry season between April and September, reflecting the prevailing favourable sea conditions (Figure 1). A total of 197 yachts, 26 trawlers and five other vessels were inspected. The five other vessels included three defence craft serving Timor, one floating hotel from Timor and one oil rig. Of the 263 vessels inspected only 13 yachts were quarantined as a result of unidentified bryozoans on their hulls. The average cost recovered from the relevant Commonwealth agency for the inspection of an apprehended vessel at Buoy No 5 outside of Darwin Port limits was $771.60. Three of the 35 apprehended vessels inspected were found to be infested with black striped mussels. All three vessels were Iceboats from the Province of Probolinggo, Indonesia (Figure 2).