Environment Southland has discovered Didemnum vexillum, commonly known as carpet sea squirt, at two locations in the waters around Rakiura/Stewart Island, as well as a further discovery of the invasive seaweed Undaria pinnatifida (Undaria) at a new site.
The Minister for the Environment is seeking nominations for members of the Fiordland Marine Guardians (the Guardians).
The Guardians are an advisory group established by the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act 2005. They are responsible for providing advice to Ministers, government departments, and Environment Southland on the management of the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area (FMA).
In May 2022 researchers from my research group, who were working in Fiordland noticed something very unusual in the shallow waters of Te Puaitaha/Breaksea Sound, thousands of the ‘bleached’ white sponges. On closer inspection the sponges were all the same species, the cup sponge Cymastella lamellata, and this bleaching event was subsequently confirmed throughout Tamatea/Dusky, Te Puaitaha/Breaksea and Doubtful/Patea Sounds, and is likely to have occurred throughout the wider Fiordland Marine Area (FMA).