Bay of Plenty Regional Council confirmed a single specimen of the
invasive aquatic pest Mediterranean fanworm (Sabella spallanzanii) was
Pilot Bay in Tauranga Harbour, New Zealand. The fanworm was growing from a rock near the bathing sheds. It can grow in dense, thick mats which compete with native plants and animals for nutrients and space. Once established, it’s hard, or even impossible, to eradicate. The Mediterranean fanworm is also found in Auckland, Whangarei and Lyttelton Harbours, and was discovered on two barges in Coromandel Harbour earlier this year.