Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to biodiversity worldwide. They can have negative impacts on native species, fisheries and aquaculture and can threaten whole ecosystems causing serious problems to both the environment and the economy. If a species does arrive in our waters, early detection is essential if any attempt at clearing is to be made.
Funded by NRW and in collaboration with Succorfish, WFA-CPC trained a dozen fishermen during 2016 to monitor their catch for invasive species such as American lobster, slimper limpet and the American oyster drill and report their presence on CatchApp, a multi-purpose mobile phone App designed by Succorfish for fishermen.
WFA-CPC members have been monitoring their catch for eleven species, including the American lobster which could have a profound effect on the European lobster as it is far more aggressive and carries a deadly disease that our lobsters aren’t resistant to. The risk could be compared to the impact the American grey squirrel has had on our native red.
Reporting non-native species helps to protect commercial species by identifying sources of potential introduction and promoting good practice to minimise their spread. Slipper limpets and wireweed are regularly recorded, and two American lobsters have been reported by pot fishermen operating in Tremadog & Conwy Bay which led to an information leaflet jointly produced by WFA-CPC, NRW and WG to remind fishermen and merchants to report catches and sightings.
Given the increasing level of interest, more fishermen are being recruited. If you’d like to participate, please contact Mark Gray firstname.lastname@example.org