About the Marine Pathways Group

Marine Pathways Group - Introduction

Non-Native Species (NNS), also known as non-indigenous or alien species, are organisms that have been moved into new areas outside their natural range by human activities e.g. shipping, recreational boating and aquaculture. The presence of NNS can exert pressures on the marine environment with possible social, economic or environmental impacts, in which case the NNS are considered as invasive non-native species (INNS). According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) the introduction of invasive species to new environments has been identified as one of the four greatest threats to the world’s oceans (the others being, land sourced marine pollution, over exploitation of living marine resource and habitat destruction).

Once introduced and established, invasive species are difficult to control or eradicate, particularly in the marine environment. Preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species and coordinating a timely and effective response requires cooperation and collaboration among governments, economic sectors, non-governmental organisations and international treaty organisations. The Marine Pathways Group consists of member from across Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English governments with the aim of co-ordinating efforts in the management of marine INNS.

Marine Pathways Group - Extended information

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has identified are 3 tiered hierarchal approach to managing invasive species: i) preventing the introduction of invasive species, between and within states, is generally more cost-effective and environmentally desirable than measures taken following introduction and establishment of an invasive species; ii) early detection and rapid action to prevent the establishment of invasive species; and iii) containment and long-term control measures should be implemented, to prevent further spread of an introduced species. Given the problems in post introduction management of invasive species in the marine environment, the establishment of effective preventative measures are even more important.

To achieve these goals several international measures have been put in place and are currently being enhanced: the Regional Seas Conventions (e.g. OSPAR in relation to the UK); the EC Regulation on the use of Alien Species in Aquaculture (EC, 2007); the MSFD (descriptor two); the WFD; the EC Regulation on Invasive Alien Species of EC Concern (EC, 2014); and the IMOs International Ballast Water Convention. In addition the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Article 196) provides the global framework for marine management, requiring States to work together to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment, including the intentional or accidental introduction of invasive species. The Marine Pathways Group provides advice and input into the implementation of legislation relevant to the management of marine INNS in-line with CBD guidance.

Group members

Name Organisation Email
Mike Sutton-Croft Animal and Plant Health Agency
Debbie Murphy Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science
Louisa Wood Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science
Hannah Tidbury Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science
Hugh Edwards Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs Northern Ireland
Kylia Smyth Department of Agriculture Environment & Rural Affairs Northern Ireland
Stephen Foster Department of Agriculture Environment & Rural Affairs Northern Ireland
Fiona Gell Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, Isle of Man
Tarquin Dorrington Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Angela Taylor Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Donal Cronin Department of Environment Community and Local Government
Alice Hiley Environment Agency
Sarah Brown Firth of Clyde Forum
Olaf Booy GB Non-native Species Secretariat
Grainne O'Brien Irish sea fisheries board
Katie McPherson Marine Management Organisation
Colette O'Flynn National Biodiversity Centre, Ireland
Hazel Selley Natural England
Jan Maclennan Natural England
Ruth Crundwell Natural England
Ben Wray Natural Resources Wales
Gabrielle Wyn Natural Resources Wales
Maggie Hatton-Ellis Natural Resources Wales
Janet Khan-Marnie Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Lyndsay Brown Scottish Government
Lorna King Scottish Government
Stan Whitaker Scottish Natural Heritage
David Donnan Scottish Natural Heritage
Sharon Davies Welsh Government

Terms of Reference

This section is under development, please check back later.

Thin strip of image show tree trunk and bark