Management priorities for marine invasive species

Giakoumi, Sylvaine
Katsanevakis, Stelios
Albano, Paolo G.
Azzurro, Ernesto
Cardoso, Ana Cristina
Deidun, Alan
Edelist, Dor
Francour, Patrice
Jiménez, Carlos
Mačić, Vesna
Occhipinti-Ambrogi, Anna
Rilov, Gil
Ramzi Sghaier, Yassine
Managing invasive alien species is particularly challenging in the ocean mainly because marine ecosystems are highly connected across broad spatial scales. Eradication of marine invasive species has only been achieved when species were detected early, and management responded rapidly. Generalized approaches, transferable across marine regions, for prioritizing actions to control invasive populations are currently lacking. Here, expert knowledge was elicited to prioritize 11 management actions for controlling 12 model species, distinguished by differences in dispersion capacity, distribution in the area to be managed, and taxonomic identity. Each action was assessed using five criteria (effectiveness, feasibility, acceptability, impacts on native communities, and cost), which were combined in an ‘applicability’ metric. Raising public awareness and encouraging the commercial use of invasive species were highly prioritized, whereas biological control actions were considered the least applicable. Our findings can guide rapid decision-making on prioritizing management options for the control of invasive species especially at early stages of invasion, when reducing managers' response time is critical ​
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