Ports are continually monitoring their Port area for introduced Marine Pests arriving via ships ballast water. Original detection methods required organic samples to be sent around the world for examination and identification of potential pests.This process takes precious time and resources, increasing the window for any introduced pests to become established.
Western Australian Port Authorities and the Western Australian Government pioneered a new method which uses sample homogenisation and DNA extraction. The State-Wide Array Surveillance Program is an international leader in the use of molecular techniques. This process has increased the speed of monitoring and helped researchers identify new native marine species. It will not only help the quicker detection of any foreign pests, but also the accuracy and cheaper price of identification.
The State-Wide Array Surveillance Program conveys the priority of risk management and environmental responsibility for Ports.
The new method is now under consideration for a national approach to marine pest detection. It has been engaged by all Port Authorities in Western Australia.The program received a Golden Gecko Award for environmental excellence. The project was also recognised by the Federal Government winning the 2019 Australian Biosecurity Awards.
The State-Wide Array Surveillance Program positively impacts the following goals:
9- Industry,Innovation and Infrastructure
12-Responsible Consumption and Production
14-Life Below Water
17-Partnerships for the Goals