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Biosecurity is about taking action in order to minimise the introduction, spread and establishment of invasive non-native species (INNS). Movement of vessels, equipment and/or stock can cause both the introduction of a new INNS and the spread of an INNS already established at a site to new locations.
We all rely on the health of our marine environment to prosper. Once INNS become established they can threaten the diversity of life in our seas and coasts, as well as impacting on our livelihoods and our sport, leisure and enjoyment of the marine environment.
In the marine environment, the complete eradication of INNS is rarely possible or affordable and control is usually only effective on a local scale. Therefore following best practice biosecurity measures to reduce the likelihood of introducing an INNS in the first place are all the more important.
Marine biosecurity planning
Damage to the marine environment can lead to financial losses to marine industries such as additional costs for removing biofouling on structures or damage to farmed shellfish and reduced yield. Effective biosecurity planning can help reduce these impacts. A marine biosecurity plan will outline the realistic actions that can be implemented and achieved to help reduce the risk of marine INNS. Guidance has been produced to take you through how to write a biosecurity plan:
- Marine Biosecurity Planning Guidance Document for Scotland (external link) (Scottish Natural Heritage 2014)
- Marine Biosecurity Planning Guidance for Wales and England (PDF) (Natural England and Natural Resources Wales 2015)
Further tools and support for biosecurity planning:
- How to Write a Marine Biosecurity Plan - Large Scale (PDF)
- How to Write a Marine Biosecurity Plan - Small Scale (PDF)
- Marine Biosecurity Plan Template - Construction Activities (Word)
- Marine Biosecurity Plan Template - Events (Word)
- Marine Biosecurity Plan Template - Estuary Wide (Word)
See also the Marine Biosecurity toolkit developed for the RAPID LIFE project and Marine Pathways Project documents for more resources and example plans.
Guidance for recreational activities
Individuals can play a key part in improving biosecurity and protecting the environment when out and about enjoying the water. Whenever you leave the water remember to Check Clean Dry. Download a Check Clean Dry leaflet for:
View handy videos guides from the RYA (external link)
Check Clean Dry for dinghy sailors
Check Clean Dry for windsurfers
Check Clean Dry for personal watercraft
Check Clean Dry for powerboats
Further guidance for industry
See also ‘marine biosecurity planning’ resources above
- Marine Best Practice by Sector (PDF)
- INNS information for the shellfish aquaculture industry English version (PDF) and Welsh version (PDF) (Natural England, 2015)
Presentations produced by the RAPID LIFE project:
- Event Managers (Powerpoint presentation)
- Marinas and Large Yacht Clubs (Powerpoint presentation)
- Mariculture (Powerpoint presentation)
- Volunteers and Mooring Associations (Powerpoint presentation)
Pathway Action Plans
Pathway Action Plans have been developed to provide guidance for different organisations and individuals on steps to take to reduce the risk of INNS. The following are relevant to the marine environment:
- Angling PAP for Great Britain
- Angling PAP for Northern Ireland
- Recreational Boating PAP for Great Britain
- Recreational Boating PAP for Northern Ireland
- Marine Pathways Group - this project has ended but a range of marine biosecurity resources are still available.
- RAPID Life Project - this project has ended but a range of marine biosecurity resources are still available in the Marine Biosecurity toolkit.
- The Green Blue (external link) provides resources and advice for recreational boaters on best practice to avoid the risk of introduction and spread of invasive species.