Undaria pinnatifida, a brown seaweed, was first found in Wellington Harbour in 1987. It has since spread to Stewart Island and along the east coasts of the South and North islands. It grows rapidly and excludes many native coastal species such as pink kelp, which the native abalone, pāua, depends on. It is native to the north-west Pacific, where it is a food. Also known as Japanese or Asian kelp, it has been described as the gorse of the sea.
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