Options for managing invasive marine species

Author(s): Ronald E. Thresher & Armand M. Kuris

Publication: Biological Invasions

Publication Date: 2004

Abstract: Marine biological invasions are increasingly recognised as a threat to biodiversity and coastal industry, including fisheries. Globally, efforts are underway to contain, if not eradicate, several high-impact marine invasive species. However, working in a marine environment places unique social, political and technical constraints on options for pest control, which we explored in a series of stakeholder workshops. Results suggest that current efforts are low risk and publicly acceptable, but have a low probability of success against established invaders. However, techniques deemed likely to be successful and ultimately needed in a marine context are currently more contentious for social and political reasons. To control introduced marine pests, scientists and managers will need to overcome perceptual biases among marine stakeholders, develop a decision-making framework for what is perceived to be an open system, and focus on technologies likely to be both effective and publicly and politically acceptable.

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