Aquatic weed poses danger

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is urging Port Hedland residents to contact them after an aquatic weed was discovered in the region.

After a social media post went viral, it was revealed residents had acquired water lettuce, also known as water cabbage, which is prohibited from being sold in WA.

Biosecurity officer Lara Martin said the department had removed the weed from the vendor’s property but needed the public’s help to trace where the other water lettuce plants had been sold.

“The nature of online trans-actions makes it very difficult to identify where the plants may be,” she said.

“We encourage anyone who has purchased aquatic plants not to dispose of them, rather to contact the department so we can remove the weed to ensure it does not spread.” The free-floating plant, which reproduces vegetatively and by seed, could threaten waterways and the ecosystem by reducing light, oxygen and pH levels in the water as well as destroying habitats, causing algal blooms and native fauna to die.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


Any sightings of water lettuce or other suspect weeds should be reported to the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080 or email info@dpird.wa.gov.au.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails