The Northern Pacific Seastar has 5 arms, with upturned tips at the end. Juveniles are yellow with purple markings, whilst the adults are almost entirely yellow. It is a voracious predator that is reported to be having major impacts on native bivalves and other small invertebrates in known locations in Tasmania and Victoria.
Northern Pacific sea star / Asterias amurensis
Similar native species
These native species may be confused with this marine pest.
Irregular Sea Star / Smilasterias irregularis
Granular or Zig zag seastar / Uniophora granifera
Many-pored sea star / Fromia polypora
On the 1st July the NSW Government implemented a new Biosecurity Act 2015 (the Act). Under Schedule 2 of this Act the Northern Pacific Seastar is declared as prohibited matter in NSW. This means it is illegal to possess, buy, sell or move this pest in NSW. Heavy penalties apply for non-compliance. In addition, NSW DPI has the power to seize and require the destruction of the pest.
People are expected to have a basic level of knowledge about the biosecurity risks they might encounter in their normal work and recreational activities. All community members have a general biosecurity duty to consider how actions, or in some cases lack of action could have a negative impact on another person, business enterprise, animal or the environment. We must then take all reasonable and practical measures to prevent or minimise the potential impact.
Learn to recognise, and be aware of, the Northern Pacific seastar so that you can report any suspected new sighting.
If you see this pest in NSW, please report it immediately.