The North Western Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NWIFCA) has produced a Biosecurity Plan for its district, finalised in November 2014. It is intended for use by all marine stakeholders in the NWIFCA district and covers the prevention and control of the spread of marine invasive non-native species (INNS) and shellfish disease. It details the current status of the area, potential threats to fisheries, and suggested measures to improve biosecurity and attempt to avoid any potentially damaging effects in the future. The plan includes reference to species that spend part of their life-cycle in freshwater and links with previously produced plans in the surrounding area to ensure biosecurity measures join up across the district. It is envisaged the plan will run until 2019 when it will be fully updated, although sections on disease and invasive species will be continually updated to reflect changes in the area.
The key objectives of the NWIFCA Biosecurity plan are:
Reduce the risk of introduction and spread of marine INNS and shellfish disease within the NWIFCA district and to other areas, with a focus on ‘key-risk’ INNS.
Promote suitable detection, monitoring and rapid response systems for marine INNS and shellfish disease which pose significant threats to biodiversity and the local economy, with a focus on ‘key-risk’ INNS.
Develop effective control programmes for existing marine ‘key-risk’ INNS and shellfish diseases which are practical and sustainable, and prevent their spread to other parts of the district or country.
The NWIFCA also communicates with other relevant parties, some of whom also produce Biosecurity Plans, to ensure a best practice approach to INNS. Copies of other Biosecurity Plans and monitoring are available in the table below.
Reporting INNS to the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat
Over the past 18 months NWIFCA officers have worked with fishermen and Cefas when American Lobster (Homarus americanus) have been found in lobster pots in our District. If you should find one please contact [email protected] immediately.
DO NOT RETURN THEM TO THE SEA. The dangers of releasing non-native crabs and lobsters into UK waters is explained here.