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Watery Aliens

Aliens -- marine species introduced to our waters by ship fouling and ballast water -- are under study by the Cawthron Institute, who aim to provide the shipping industry and coastal managers with options for reducing invasion rates of alien species.

"We will measure how shipping carries high-risk species, determine the relationship between the transport and establishment of foreign marine species at a new shipping port, and determine factors in the success or failure of invasion by non-indigenous species," says team leader Cameron Hay.

The research team's risk assessment model will have a unique opportunity with the opening of Port Shakespeare in the Marlborough Sounds will be investigated.

They will also determine the effect of alien species already here, and predict the potential distribution and effect of invaders that cause problems overseas.