Invasion of European Seas - Increasing trend of new marine alien species
  • Sepioteuthis lessoniana is an Indo-Pacific squid recently introduced in the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal (Photo: Y.Issaris)

A recently published article identifies 1369 alien marine species in European seas, and found that the trend of new introductions of alien species in Europe has been increasing over the past decades.

Possible Drivers
The continuous enlargement of the Suez Canal and the reduction in barriers against the invasion of Red Sea species are likely to lead to an invasion of many more species into the Mediterranean Sea.

Shipping was identified as the primary pathway of introduction, followed by marine and inland corridors, aquaculture and aquarium trade.

However, while introductions via most pathways have been increasing, notably that of aquarium trade, aquaculture as a pathway showed a marked decrease in new introductions during the past decade, presumably due to compulsory measures implemented at national and European levels.

Proposed measures
The authors propose that the increasing trend in new introductions could be reversed through appropriate management measures for shipping and aquarium trade, awareness raising and the implementation of a stricter legislative framework for aquarium imports.

(Article's Source)