Caulerpa seaweed
Caulerpaceae - Caulerpa taxifolia

What does it look like?

Bright green seaweed with horizontal runners that reach up to nine metres. Runners give rise to many upright fronds. Fronds are flattened with a smooth and distinct mid rib, reaching up to 1 cm wide and up to 15 cm long (up to 60 cm in deep water). Pinnules (individual leaves) attach to mid-rib directly opposite one another.

Why is it a problem?

Caulerpa seaweed can quickly spread and smother other algae, seagrasses and invertebrate communities, thereby out-competing native species for food & light. This species also produces toxic compounds that are detrimental to other marine species. Also tangles in nets and anchors.

Control Methods

You must notify the Northland Regional Council or the Ministry for primary Industries if you suspect the presence of this organism

You can help prevent the spread of marine pests by:

• Regularly cleaning your boat’s hull – ideally keep fouling growth to no more than a light slime layer.

• Applying good thorough coatings of antifouling paint and keep it in good condition

• Ensuring your hull is clean and free of fouling before you go travel to a new region

• Cleaning and drying any marine equipment (e.g. ropes, lines, pots) before using in a new location.

• Inspecting areas on your boat that retain water in case they’re harbouring marine life.

• Checking anchors, trailers and other equipment for tangled weeds.

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