Marine Aliens II project

Controlling marine invasive species by targetting vectors of dispersal

Introduction

Research activities are underway under the following themes:

Assessment of the risk of introductions of invasive non-native species associated with hull fouling.

In 2008, the Marine Aliens team examined vessel hulls in marinas throughout the UK. In general, vessels (primarily yachts) were found to have a surprisingly high degree of hull fouling.

The classification of ports/marinas in terms of hull fouling potential.

Preliminary studies by the Marine Aliens II team have shown that configuration and exposure to water movement is important in determining the composition of the macrofouling flora and fauna that becomes established in the marina/ port.

An investigation into the most effective methods for early detection of newly arrived invasive NNS and associated parasites.

Extremely encouraging preliminary trials were undertaken using foldable Correx (corrugated plastic) for test settlement panels. These settlement panels were deployed throughout the summer of 2008 to assess the effectiveness of this technique for the early detection of invasive species colonization.

An assessment of the impact of potential control methods on native biodiversity, particularly if the control is required in areas proposed as marine Special Areas of Conservation (SAC's).

The discovery of the sea-squirt Didemnum vexillum in Holyhead marina by the Bangor members of the Marine Aliens team has led to extensive investigation into the possibility of eradication procedures being implemented by the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) owing to the potential negative effects of this non-native on aquaculture facilities and native biota.

Partners NHM QUB Univeristy of Plymouth MBA SAMS