School students around New Zealand are being encouraged to use their ‘laser’ eyes to hunt marine pests. These marine hitchhikers, have been carried into our waters on the bottom of boats and are messing with the ecological balance between our native plants and animals. Biosecurity New Zealand has released a short video to illustrate the issue and highlight how school students can help keep a watchful eye on their local marine community.
Schools engaged in the Marine Metre Squared seashore monitoring projectcan make an important contribution to our understanding of where these pest species are, and also where they are not! Collecting long term data about the abundance and distribution of marine species on your local shoreline provides valuable data to measure change over time. It also helps us understand what impact these pest species maybe having on our New Zealand natives.
So how can school students and community members get involved?
- Watch the Biosecurity New Zealand marine pest video to learn about the issue.
- Learn more about these pest species and download the marine pest ID guide to help with identification on the seashore.
- Enrol with Marine Metre Squared (www.mm2.net.nz).A citizen science project to monitor the NZ seashore, and to investigate the distribution and spread of invasive species.
- Upload your survey data on the Mm2 website to share your seashore observations
- Report sightings of pest species to the pest and disease hotline – 0800 80 99 66
- View the distribution map to find out where different pest species are currently lurking and how scientists are tackling the problem
The Marine Metre Squared website, mm2.net.nz, is a citizen-science project and is owned and managed by the NZ Marine Studies Centre, University of Otago. Content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial–ShareAlike license, unless otherwise stated.