This week – 27 March to 2 April – organisations across Britain are joining forces for Invasive Species Week, to raise awareness of invasive non-native species (INNS) and inspire people to take action to prevent their spread.
There are over 100 marine non-native species in the UK; a number of these are invasive and have the potential to harm the environment and wildlife, and present problems for infrastructure, equipment and the economy. Recreational boating is one of several ways they can move within coastal and inland waters. Prompted by the discovery of Killer shrimp in Cambridgeshire in 2010, and the Quagga mussel in Wraysbury in 2014, sailing clubs and centres across the UK have taken on board the Check Clean Dry message but with the spring sailing season just around the corner Invasive Species week is a great opportunity to remind people of the how and why it’s important to stop the spread.
Three easy ways to get INNSvolved
1. Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org for free information and resources: posters and signage to put up at your club, centre, business or marina, guides on how to develop and implement a biosecurity plan for your site; excellent identification guides for selected marine non-native species from the Marine Biological Association; and a neat fold out mini guide for freshwater species from the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat.
2. Give your members, customers and berth holders a few top tips that can help to stop the spread of invasive species in coastal waters, such as the regular removal of any visible fouling from the hull, fenders and equipment, and putting it in the bin not back in the water. Plus it’s not too late for the all-important annual lift, scrub and reapplication of antifoul.
3. Have a go at the eLearning module on biosecurity for a chance to win a field guide to INNS. www.nonnativespecies.org/elearning
Follow Invasive Species Week on social media by keeping an eye on @CheckCleanDryGB and #InvasivesWeek