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Monday, April 7, 2014

07/04/14: Marine Policy Challenges Marine Pests

Wales location in the EU.
Wales location in the EU. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A new report ‘Capacity, capability and cross-border challenges associated with marine eradication programs in Europe’ by Katie Sambrook et al discusses the increasing recognition of the threat which invasive non-native species present to ecological and economic assets has led to a recent surge in international, regional and national policies.

It mentions a draft EU Regulation on the prevention and management of invasive alien species, published in 2013, which recommends the creation of a list of invasive alien species of Union concern, wherein any Member State identifying newly establishing populations of these species must implement rapid eradication measures.

Although the UK is often cited within Europe as having made significant progress in the field of invasion management, the lessons learned from the eradication process in Wales highlight that the UK is inadequately prepared to undertake rapid eradication measures in the marine environment and that the lack of a coordinated approach between nations has significant potential to devalue localised eradication efforts. A number of measures are discussed to enhance future capability both in the UK and the wider European Union including enhanced alerting mechanisms, science-based monitoring programs to enable early detection, increased commitment of resources and the need for cross-border collaboration.

With world trade and in increases in vessel traffic the risks must be increasing.
In Australia you can find out more on this subject at National System for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions and you can find much information on our work here at www.marinepests.gov.au. There is information about aquatic pests and the costs involved.
Australia’s worst exotic pests are the Seastar Asterias amurensis, Wakame seaweed Undaria pinnafitida and European fanworm Sabella spallanzani. It has been raised that in Australia bio-fouling is the biggest risk, slightly larger than ballast water transfer of marine pests. Unfortunately bio-fouling is also the most complicated to manage.

Whilst a lot of work has been done since, the BBC documentary 'Invaders of the Sea' discusses the issues surrounding marine pests quite well and can be seen here:
 


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 The Aquaculturists
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