Fiordland Undaria control programme
In 2021, Environment Southland received a $2m funding boost for two years to aid in Fiordland’s battle against the invasive seaweed Undaria pinnatifida (Undaria). The funding runs through to March 2023.
Partners of the Fiordland Undaria control programme, including Environment Southland, the Department of Conservation, the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Fiordland Marine Guardians have been working to contain Undaria in Te Puaitaha Breaksea Sound for years.
The funding boost has been crucial to the remove significant amounts of Undaria from the Fiord and reduce the risk of it spreading to other pristine areas.
Members of the community obtained scientific diver certificates, to enable them to dive for Undaria plants in a search-and-destroy mission.
The project aims to contain Undaria within Breaksea Sound, and completely eliminate it from Chalky Inlet.
Undaria in Fiordland
Undaria is a highly invasive seaweed that rapidly overruns native species and changes marine ecosystems.
In April 2010, a single mature Undaria specimen was found on a line mooring a barge to the shoreline in Sunday Cove. Since then, Undaria has become well established throughout Breaksea Sound. A further incursion was found in 2019 in Chalky Inlet.
Undaria has the potential to have substantial impacts on the environmental, economic, cultural, recreational and aesthetic values of Fiordland.
What you can do to help
- Ensure any marine equipment, especially dive and fishing gear, is clean and dry, or treated before using it in Fiordland’s waters.
- Ensure your vessel’s hull and niche areas are clean and well antifouled before visiting Fiordland
- If you intend to visit Fiordland, regardless of the size of your vessel, you need to comply with the clean hull, clean gear, and residual seawater standards. You will be required to hold a Fiordland Clean Vessel Pass and be aware of the risks and the ways you can minimise these.