What are invasive species?
An invasive or non-indigenous species is an organism that typically causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native.
A few examples of invasive species are green crab, killer algae, sea walnut, lionfish and Pacific oysters.
How are they causing problems?
Invasive species are non-native species that have colonised a new area to the point of damaging the surrounding environment and are seen as one of the top five major threats to our ecosystem today.
They can be brought into a new environment from pathways such as ships, fishing equipment or accidental releases. This is worrying for us as invasive species can damage the services the ecosystems provide us with.
Invasive species are capable of causing extinctions of native plants and animals, reducing biodiversity, competing with native organisms for limited resources, and altering habitats.
Invasive species can have impacts on our marine industries, such as growing on marine structures, killing or competing with marine aquaculture species and by spreading disease.
According to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) tackling invasive species cost the UK roughly 1.8 billion pounds per year globally. The cost could be over 100 billion per year exceeding the cost of all natural disasters.