Large Saltie Threatens Shark Attack


The fight to protect our fishing waterways against the noxious weed Cabomba (Cabomba caroliniana) continues to deliver positive results thanks to a $600,000 boost from the Territory Government.

Cabomba is a fast growing aquatic weed that was originally introduced to Australia from the Americas as an aquarium plant and is recognised as one of the 32 worst weed species in Australia.

It is listed as a Weed of National Significance and has the potential to harm public drinking water supplies if it gets into Darwin River Dam.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) cabomba eradication program manager, Chris Collins, said the increased funding had meant that the noxious weed had not been detected since January at Lok Landji Billabong due to intensified management action.

“This is the single longest period of time that cabomba has not been detected anywhere in Darwin River since 2004,” Mr Collins said.

“A huge contributing factor has been the use of the aquatic herbicide Shark™; the spread and growth of cabomba has been declining since it was first used in 2016.

“Within seven days of application, we were able to see cabomba showing signs of ill health.

“By three weeks we could see reduced infestation and density levels with remaining cabomba plants beginning to rot.

“This season’s focus has been to ensure any remaining cabomba plants are fully taken care of and the signs so far have been extremely positive.

“However, this year’s Shark™ spray program hasn’t all been smooth sailing.

“Just a few days before our 2017/18 program resumed towards the end of the Dry Season, we noticed a 3.25m saltwater crocodile in Lok Landji Billabong.

“Lucky for us it was in a crocodile trap and the Department of Tourism and Culture crocodile management team promptly removed it and checked to make sure none of his friends were nearby.

“This is the seventh time a saltie has been caught in the quarantine area since 2006 and is a good reminder for Territorians to Be Crocwise when in or near Territory waters.

“Hopefully there are no more salties in the area anytime soon to check out the Cabomba or Shark™.”

Shark™ has been used to successfully manage cabomba in other Australian jurisdictions and is applied under strict guidelines. It does not accumulate in the environment.

Go to for more information about the weed or the quarantine area that remains in place until November 2020.

One fine and two warnings have been issued for breaches of the quarantine area during the past 12 months with two further breaches under investigation.

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