The Mediterranean fanworm (Sabella Spallanzanii) is a marine animal which is a fouling pest typically found in estuaries or sheltered sites. It can form dense populations, potentially smothering other native marine species and altering underwater ecosystems.
Northland Regional Council are putting in place procedures to continue to keep this pest out of Northland waters. The legal requirements from the Northland Regional Council RPMS 2010-2015 states:
No person shall knowingly transport or release any marine pest. Every person who sees any exclusion marine pest, or suspects the presence of any exclusion marine pest shall immediately report the sighting to the Northland Regional Council or the Ministry of Primary Industries. A breach of these rules, without reasonable excuse, is an offence under Section 154(r) of the Act.
The Biosecurity Act 1993 Section 46 declares that there is a duty to report notifiable organisms, Section 52 refers to not knowingly spreading any a pest or unwanted organism and even in section 53 against selling or propagating any.
Those who are found to be carriers will have to pay for the costs involved of haul out, removal and antifouling. It is possible that they will be prosecuted only if they are found to have knowingly carried and not made a plan for removal.
Check the below link for more information
If you see this pest or suspect you may be carrying it please contact the Northland Regional Council immediately on 0800 504 639.