9 October 2023

Illegal plant found in Corrimal poses devastating threat to waterways and aquatic animals

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Frogbit weed in a waterway.

Frogbit weed in a waterway: its aggressive growth can threaten native water plants and reduce light, food and habitat for native animals. Photo: Supplied.

A highly invasive South American plant that poses a significant biosecurity risk to NSW has been found in the Corrimal area.

Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) is known for its rapid growth and ability to form dense mats and choke waterways. It was also detected in Bomaderry last month.

Frogbit is regulated as Prohibited Matter in NSW due to the extreme risk it poses to the environment and economy. The possession, movement or sale of frogbit is illegal in NSW.

Illawarra District Weeds Authority Chief Weeds Officer David Pomery said finding frogbit in the Corrimal area highlighted the risk the weed poses to the Illawarra’s aquatic ecosystems.

“Its aggressive growth can have a devastating impact on aquatic biodiversity as it outcompetes native water plants and reduces light, food and habitat for aquatic animals,” he said.

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“Frogbit is a popular aquarium plant and unfortunately is being unlawfully traded online.

“It is most likely the result of someone illegally dumping frogbit out of their aquarium or pond into the waterway.”

The authority is appealing for the public’s help in stopping the trade and spread of frogbit, and to report sightings of the plants being sold.

Residents can visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries’ WeedWise website for detailed information on frogbit and its identification.

If you have frogbit at home, contact your local council’s Biosecurity (Weeds) Officer to ensure its proper and safe disposal, or call the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline on 1800 680 244.

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