Many species of marine algae are considered to be problematic (refer to Marine Algae for more information). Whilst it is recognised that a significant number of these species have been introduced to Australian coastal waters from other parts of the World, many of these are now considered to be resident components of our algal communities. These microalgal species may only be present in some parts of Australia due to environmental conditions (e.g. restricted to the colder waters of Tasmania) or because they have not (yet) been translocated to some areas possibly due to distance or geographic isolation.
These species, as well as some species not previously recorded in Australia but which are considered to be a high risk of introduction, are routinely surveyed for in locations such as ports where heavy national and international shipping activities make the chances of introductions and/or translocations more likely.
The Consultative Committee on Introduced Marine Pest Emergencies (CCIMPE) Trigger List for introduced marine species lists six microalgal species (three dinoflagellate species and three diatom species) whilst the Australian Marine Pest Monitoring Manual (AMPMM) Target Species List lists ten microalgal species (seven dinoflagellate species and three diatom species). Both these lists are currently under review, and an “Australian Priority Marine Pest List” is being prepared as a part of the Marine Pest Plan 2018–2023: the National Strategic Plan for Marine Pest Biosecurity.