NSW Control Plan for Caulerpa taxifolia


The marine alga Caulerpa taxifolia (Caulerpa) is naturally distributed throughout the tropical regions, including northern Australia.

It was first discovered in NSW waters in March 2000, in Port Hacking, 30 km south of Sydney. As of February 2009, it had been found in 14 NSW coastal lakes and estuaries and one small oceanic population off Sydney.

The degree of invasion of Caulerpa varies from place to place, ranging from small, isolated patches to dense beds covering many hectares.

The 2004 NSW Control Plan for Caulerpa has been in place for 5 years. It has now been reviewed and updated to reflect the latest research findings and the outcomes of several additional years of control and education.

The overall goals of the 2009 revised control plan presented here are to:

  • prevent the further spread of Caulerpa within and between NSW estuaries
  • reduce the impacts of existing populations of Caulerpa on biodiversity and fisheries productivity
  • maximise the efficient and effective use of available resources by prioritising management programs and utilising best-practice techniques
  • continue to support research into the environmental impacts of Caulerpa in NSW waters
  • ensure that future management of Caulerpa is underpinned by rigorous, quantitative science and appropriate monitoring and evaluation
  • continue to educate the community about the impacts of Caulerpa and the role of the community in management strategies to prevent spread and counteract impacts
  • coordinate education programs and management of Caulerpa with the actions of relevant local and State government agencies.


Published: 2009