Fanworm poses ‘serious threat’ to Marlborough marine environment

Mediterranean fanworm was found on a yacht that moored at Waikawa Marina in Marlborough. - Photo: Supplied

A Mediterranean fanworm invasion poses a serious threat to Marlborough's coastal waters and aquaculture industry, a council biosecurity manager says.

Mediterranean fanworm was found on the keel of a yacht that recently sailed from Auckland, then moored at Waikawa Marina in Marlborough, said Marlborough District Council biosecurity manager Jono Underwood.

It is believed the fanworm has spawned and the extent of fanworm invasion is now being assessed by the council's biosecurity team.

The fanworm was immediately destroyed and surveillance work is being carried out in areas where the boat travelled.

Mr Underwood said boaties needed to be vigilant when moving boats from northern hubs, such as Auckland and Whangarei, where the fanworm is well-established.