Northern Pacific seastar returns to Gippsland Lakes
Agriculture Victoria is calling on members of the Gippsland Lakes community and holiday-makers to assist in local surveillance for the presence of the invasive pest called northern Pacific seastar.
In January, Agriculture Victoria was made aware that a member of the public had caught an individual northern Pacific seastar while prawning near Wattle Point.
The species had not been seen in the Gippsland Lakes since 2015, an event which prompted a significant eradication effort and monitoring program. It is unknown whether this recent detection is a new arrival or if there is a local population in the region.
The northern Pacific seastar is highly invasive and capable of reaching high densities in invaded habitats. The species is an opportunistic predator that consumes a large variety of prey. In high densities, it can have severe effects on wild and cultured shellfish populations, and on native biodiversity in marine habitats.