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Sensitivity and cost considerations for the detection and eradication of marine pests in ports

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Hayes, K. R., Cannon, R., Neil, K. and Inglis, G. (2005) Sensitivity and cost considerations for the detection and eradication of marine pests in ports. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 50 (8). pp. 823-834. ISSN 0025-326X

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2005.02.032


Port surveys are being conducted in Australia, New Zealand and around the world to confirm the presence or absence of particular marine pests. The most critical aspect of these surveys is their sensitivity—the probability that they will correctly identify a species as present if indeed it is present. This is not, however, adequately addressed in the relevant national and international standards. Simple calculations show that the sensitivity of port survey methods is closely related to their encounter rate—the average number of target individuals expected to be detected by the method. The encounter rate (which reflects any difference in relative pest density), divided by the cost of the method, provides one way to compare the cost-effectiveness of different survey methods. The most cost-effective survey method is site- and species-specific but, in general, will involve sampling from the habitat with the highest expected population of target individuals. A case study of Perna viridis in Trinity Inlet, Cairns, demonstrates that plankton trawls processed with gene probes provide the same level of sensitivity for a fraction of the cost associated with the next best available method—snorkel transects in bad visibility (secchi depth = 0.72 m). Visibility and the adult/larvae ratio, however, are critical to these arguments. If visibility were good (secchi depth = 10 m), the two approaches would be comparable. Diver deployed quadrats were at least three orders of magnitude less cost-effective in this case study. It is very important that environmental managers and scientists perform sensitivity calculations before embarking on port surveys to ensure the highest level of sensitivity is achieved for any given budget.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Ports, Surveys, Monitoring, Sensitivity, Biological invasions, Risk assessment
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Animal control and ecology
Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Impact assessment
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery resources
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery management. Fishery policy
Live Archive:06 Feb 2024 23:12
Last Modified:06 Feb 2024 23:12

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