This portal is intended to provide access to marine biosecurity data pertaining to species distributions.

This help page describes what the portal provides, and how to access the content.

The biosecurity information provided by this portal is derived from four sources, each of which is a standalone project within the portal. A fifth project provides access to the combined data.


The four projects providing the data and reports on this portal are: 

New Zealand Port Biological Baseline Surveys

These surveys provide baseline information on the indigenous and nonindigenous species present in each maritime transport node including their identity, distribution, and relative abundance.

Marine High Risk Site Surveillance

The Marine High Risk Site Surveillance programme undertakes 6 monthly surveys for unwanted marine pests in some of New Zealand's busiest and, therefore, high-risk ports and marinas of first entry for international vessels.

Marine Invasive Taxonomic Service (MITS)

MITS is a centralized service that provides taxonomic identification and collection management of marine organisms (indigenous, cryptogenic, or non-indigenous) relevant to marine biosecurity management in New Zealand.

Other Verified Observations of Marine Pests

In 1998 a team of New Zealand marine scientists published a consolidated inventory of all of the non-indigenous and cryptogenic species that had been recorded from New Zealand marine environments.

There are two main ways to access information from each project via this portal: reports and maps.


Reports are catalogued using a Geonetwork metadata catalogue. The portal provides facilities to access a list of relevant reports. Items in this list can be clicked on to provide more detailed information about each one, and can be downloaded directly if they are available. Each project's menu allows you to access the reports page.

Browsing reports

The browse button in the reports page retrieves a list of all reports in the catalogue and provides a sorted list of titles. You can click on the title to see more detail about the report, and optionally download a copy of the report.

Searching reports

The search facility on the reports page allows you to enter keywords, then retrieve a list of those reports which match the keyword criteria. As in the report browser, you can click on the title to see more detail about a report, and optionally download a copy.


The mapping functionality in this portal is provided by the OpenLayers web mapping tool. This provides several ways for users to interact with and control the map.

Map content

The map on screen is built up using a set of layers overlaid on each other. The context layer is fixed, and currently provides a basic coastline of New Zealand and nearby islands. Using the layer tab on the right hand side of the map, the user can switch off or on various background and data layers. 

Background layers

  • Wharves (from the LINZ topographic data) around New Zealand. These are generallysmaller jetties, and are visible as small dark brown lines.
  • Ports are shown as a blue vessel icon.
  • Port extents are rectangles showing a general extent of a port region
  • Bioregions are the main geographic regions used to describe generalised species presence/absence data.
  • Sample sites show the locations of all sites sampled for the various biosecurity projects. MITS sites in red, port baseline survey sites in magenta and targetted surveillance sites in blue.

The data layer generally comprises a 'Species records' tab. This shows the locations where the selected species has been found.

Click on the closed 'eye' beside each layer to make it visible, or click on an open 'eye' to hide a layer.

Clicking on the name of a layer will display some information about that layer, if available. 

Species layer

The species tab allows the user to select the species to display. Click on one of the top species, or start typing in a species name. A pick list will appear, matching the characters entered. A layer showing the locations (for the project) will be plotted, using clustered circles. Where several records show in much the same location, a single circle is plotted, with the number of records it represents shown inside.Clicking such a circle will show a list of the records (up to 100), and clicking on an record in the list will show some detail about the record. Where a circle represents a single record, no intermediate list is provided. Where more than 100 records are represented by a single circle, you will be prompted to zoom the map in to the point to show the distribution on a finer scale, and reduce the number of records represented by a single circle.

Plotting a species overlaid on the sample sites will indicate where samples did not include the species (absence). Note however that sampling method is NOT taken into account, so some sample sites may represent a method which the species was not vulnerable to, so treat such information as indicative, not definitive. 

Note that the locations of species from the 'other verified observations' dataset are only presented by bioregion, point locations are not available. 

How to Zoom the map

There are several ways to zoom in or out in the map.

Zoom bar

The vertical bar in thetop left of the map allows a single click zoom, retaining the current centre of the map.

Click the "+" on top of the bar to zoom in one level

Click the "-" on the bottom of the bar to zoom out one level

Click an intermediate place on the bar to zoom to that intermediate scale


Press shift and hold the left mouse button down to draw a rectangle to zoom to. Unclick to zoom to the specified area.

Mouse wheel

You can use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out of the map. One wheel click down zooms out one level, one click up zooms up one level. The zoomed map will be centred on the point indicated by the mouse cursor.

How to scroll or pan the map

There are two ways to scroll or pan the map.

The scroll buttons above the zoom bar, near the top left of the map. Click on the button for the way you want the view (not the map) to move. So click the right button to see further east (which scrolls the map west).

Click-drag. Left-click on the map and drag the map to where you want. It will redraw in the new location.