Aquatic invasive species

Invasive species are of signi?cant concern, especially in mega-diverse countries, because they cause negative e?ects such as loss of native biodiversity, ecological alterations, disease spread, and impacts on economic development and human health. In mainland Ecuador, information on invasive invertebrates in marine ecosystems is scarce. The objective of this study was to describe and locate the invasive species present in the rocky shores of the intertidal and subtidal zones along 10 areas (83 sites) covering most of the Ecuadorian coast during 2015–2016.

The EU regulation 1143/2014 “On the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species” entered into force on 1 January 2015. On 13 July 2016, the EU list of invasive alien species that require action was adopted. The list includes ?ve di?erent cray?sh species. Member states will be required to take measures for early detection and rapid eradication of these species. Except for some eradications performed in the United Kingdom and Norway, there has not been much e?ort put into eradication of invasive cray?sh species throughout Europe.

The North American signal cray?sh (Pacifastacus leniusculus) has been present in Scotland since at least 1995 and the species is now known to be present in a number of catchments. Once established, few opportunities for containment exist and eradication can often be impossible to achieve. However, in small, isolated water bodies, the application of a non-cray?sh-speci?c biocide has provided the opportunity to remove this species permanently. In July 2011, signal cray?sh were discovered in a ?ooded quarry pond at Ballachulish in the Scottish Highlands.

In July 2016, the European Union adopted a list of invasive alien species of concern, and at present there are two freshwater ?sh species on the list. Member states are obliged to prevent further spread and to perform rapid eradication when problem species are discovered at new sites, but continental EU member states have limited experience with eradication of ?sh. Eradications are more likely to succeed if the invasive species is con?ned to insular habitats.

Marine invasive species have received much less attention than terrestrial species worldwide. In the Pacific, the marine environment provides us with a significant part of our diet and income. Marine Managed Areas focus on protecting these important resources for livelihood purposes, biodiversity and ecosystem function, tourism and many other benefits. Although invasive species management is more difficult in the marine environment, it is not something we can neglect, and the efforts we put in need to increase. This guide seeks to provide some options for this management.