The third element of the Marine Debris Add-ons protocol is conducting surveys for invasive marine species, both plant and animal. Invasive species have been, and continue to be, introduced to NSW waters by a variety of means; including bio-fouling on hulls and inside internal seawater pipes of commercial and recreational vessels, ballast water discharged by commercial shipping, aquaculture operations (accidentally and intentionally), through aquarium imports, as well as marine debris and ocean currents.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries has identified a number of invasive species that threaten the environment and economic values of NSW marine waters. Information, including descriptions of each, can be accessed at their Marine Pests webpage.
Species descriptions for three groups of marine taxa are included in the pdf document available for download below. The three groups include selected molluscs, echinoderms and benthic fish species. The species list is not extensive given that dive time would have already been devoted to conducting marine debris surveys.
Unless there is little debris to record and collect it is unlikely that divers will have the time necessary to conduct the add-ons protocol. However, if 4 buddy pairs are involved in the assessment of a site using the standard debris protocol, i.e. using the four replicate belt transects, then it is envisaged that the 'debris add-on' surveys would be achievable.