Help stop the spread of Exotic Caulerpa around Ahuahu Great Mercury Island
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Help stop the spread of Exotic Caulerpa around Ahuahu Great Mercury Island

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Help stop the spread of Exotic Caulerpa around Ahuahu Great Mercury Island

The Ministry for Primary Industries have extended the Controlled Area Notice (CAN) for Aotea Great Barrier Island and Ahuahu Great Mercury Island until November 30, 2023. The purpose is to curb the spread of non-native caulerpa seaweed species, which can be inadvertently transported by anchoring and fishing activities. Find out how you can help stop the spread of exotic caulerpa and what the CAN means in this article.


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Controlled Area Notice - exotic caulerpa

The Ministry for Primary Industries Controlled Area Notice (CAN) for Aotea Great Barrier Island and Ahuahu Great Mercury Island has had its timeframe extended for a month with the support of mana whenua and  local community representatives. 

The CAN was set to expire on 31 October 2023, but will now remain in place until 11.59pm on 30 November 2023. The conditions of the CAN remain exactly the same.  

Extending the CAN conditions for an extra month will give the exotic caulerpa response team necessary extra time to consider the most appropriate future protections.   

It will enable necessary conversations with affected communities and interest groups to take place on whether a new CAN is required and what that might look like.  

The CAN is in place to help prevent the spread of exotic caulerpa. These non-native seaweed species are able to spread long distances when small pieces become entangled in anchors and anchor chains and fishing and diving gear. They can then be transported from an area of caulerpa infestation (including Aotea and Ahuahu) to a new location.  

Restricting anchoring and fishing activities in these affected areas can help prevent further spread.  
      Full information about the CAN and its requirements is at: www.mpi.govt.nz/caulerpa   

You can help stop the spread of exotic caulerpa

  • Know where exotic caulerpa is – we now have maps of all five known areas of exotic caulerpa on our webpage: www.biosecurity.govt.nz/caulerpa
  • Areas with legal controls (Controlled Area Notices) and rāhui that prevent anchoring and fishing activities are:  Aotea (Blind Bay, Whangaparapara Harbour and Tryphena Harbour); the southwestern coastline of Ahuahu Great Mercury Island; and  Te Rāwhiti Inlet in the Bay of Islands.
  • A rāhui is also in place at Waiheke Island 1km offshore from Thompson’s Point and in Onetangi Bay.

What to do

  • Respect the rules about anchoring and fishing in those areas.  
  • When anchoring, diving and fishing in other areas, check your anchor, anchor chain and gear for any seaweed before you move on. If you find seaweed, remove it, store it safely in a bag and dispose of it to the rubbish on land. If you can’t do this, return it to the waters it came from.  
  • 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.
  • Watch the “How to identify caulerpa and report it” video below.
  • Download the identification guide for divers below.

Hauraki Gulf Exotic Caulerpa Community Information Forum

A hui took please on March 7th - If you missed it, or want to recap, you can watch it here.

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  • Help stop the spread of Exotic Caulerpa around Ahuahu Great Mercury Island
    Download the how to identify and report exotic caulerpa sheet here
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