Marine Invasive species

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.

The Secretariat of the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) commissioned URS Australia Pty Ltd (URS) on 1 December 2003 to compile and briefly review literature and material available globally on best practice for the management of introduced marine pests. To help achieve this goal, URS consulted with a range of bioinvasion managers and researchers to locate recent published and non-published information from various published, non-published and internet sources.

This document is part of a technical report series on conservation projects funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and the Conservation International Pacific Islands Program (CI-Pacific). The main purpose of this series is to disseminate project findings and successes to a broader audience of conservation professionals in the Pacific, along with interested members of the public and students. The reports are being prepared on an ad-hoc basis as projects are completed and written up.

Rapidly expanding human populations and associated economic growth and overconsumption is resulting in serious degradation of the natural environment human survival depends on (Vitousek et al., 1997; Sanderson et al., 2002; Orr, 2004; Alroy, 2010; Branch et al., 2013). Almost half of the global human population currently lives within 150km of the coast (UN Atlas of the Oceans, 2014). This results in severe pressures being placed on marine and coastal environments.

The Pacific islands have an extremely rich maritime heritage. The islands themselves were first populated by what are arguably the greatest mariners in human history. In pie-European times the Pacific islandersnavigated wooden canoes held together with coconut fibre across thousands of miles of open ocean, with

The importance of coastal and marine environments to every aspect of the lives of Pacific Islanders cannot be overstated. Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) maintain resource rights and management responsibilities for over 30 million square kilometres of ocean, equivalent to the total land area of Canada, China and the United States of America. The total population of coastal Pacific Islanders is only 2.6 million. There are 11 square kilometres of ocean for each Pacific Islander.

This report is the first stage in a three-stage development of a Border Control Programme for aquatic plants that have the potential to become ecological weeds in New Zealand.