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Energy, Climate change, Environment

EMODnet Biology helps preventing the introduction of non-indigenous species

Non-indigenous species (NIS) introduced by human activities are organisms moved into new areas outside their natural range by, for example, transfer of ships’ ballast water, biofouling (accumulation of organisms on ships’ hulls) and aquaculture.

The presence of NIS can exert pressures on the marine environment with possible social, economic or environmental impacts. Invasive NIS are one of the most significant threats to global biodiversity. Removing NIS subsequent to introduction is very difficult, which means preventing their introduction is the most cost-effective approach to management, thus avoiding costs and the need for eradication measures.

The EMODnet biology data were used to assess the trends in new records of NIS introductions into the OSPAR Maritime Area, to determine the effectiveness of measures aimed at reducing NIS introductions. The results of the study are published in the OSPAR Intermediate Assessment 2017, which evaluates the status of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic.