A science student in New Zealand has been sentenced for importing Moss balls.
Moss balls are prohibited in New Zealand because authorities claim they could interrupt the whole ecological system.
Prosecutor Grant Fletcher said that the consequences of the Moss balls being released "could have been utterly catastrophic and could still be catastrophic".
Biosecurity officials cannot tell if any of the Moss balls imported by Jasmine Maxwell (20), who is a university student at Christchurch, managed to get into the Avon River, as there are concerns that she may have tipped water from her fish tank down her household drain, which runs into the river.
She also sold some of the Moss balls online.
Maxwell was sentenced to 250 hours of community work. Prosecutor Grant Fletcher said she narrowly avoided serving prison time.
Meanwhile authorities are asking the public to keep their eyes open for any suspicious algae.
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