Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Predicting and mapping the risk of introduction of marine non-indigenous species into Great Britain and Ireland.

Abstract

Non-indigenous species (NIS) can have adverse environmental, economic and social impacts. Their management is now incorporated into key legislation, including the European Union (EU) Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the EU Regulation on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species. Prevention of NIS introductions and the early detection of NIS following their introduction are recognised as the most effective approaches for reducing the potential impacts of NIS. This is true for most aquatic environments but especially so for the marine environment, where control and/or eradication are often not achievable. By assessing introduction vector activity, it is possible to identify coastal areas and specific locations where marine NIS may be more likely to be introduced. This study uses data relating to the activity of key introduction vectors; shipping, recreational boating and live animal aquaculture import, to estimate the relative risk of introduction of NIS around coastal regions of Great Britain and Ireland. Spatial analysis was used to create "heat" maps indicating coastal areas of increased relative risk of introduction of NIS by these vectors. The results of the present study will be crucial for the implementation of targeted vector management plans, supporting preventive strategies, and will facilitate a risk analyses of NIS threats to inform monitoring and surveillance programmes.