The control of biological invasions in the world's oceans
Bax, NJ and Carlton, J and Mathews-Amos, A and Haedrich, R and Howarth, FG and Purcell, J and Reiser, A and Gray, A, The control of biological invasions in the world's oceans, Conservation Biology, 15, (5) pp. 1234-1246 . ISSN 0888-8892 (2001) [Refereed Article]
The introduction of alien, or nonindigenous, animals and plants has been identified by scientists and policy makers as a major threat to biodiversity in marine ecosystems. Although government agencies have struggled to control alien species on land and freshwater for decades with mixed success, the control of alien marine species is in its infancy. Prevention of introduction and establishment must be the first priority, but many populations of alien marine species are already well established worldwide. National and international policies leave loopholes for additional invasions to occur and provide only general guidance on how to control alien species once they are established. To address this issue, a multinational group of 25 scientists and attorneys convened in 1998 to examine options for controlling established populations of alien marine species. The discussions resulted in a framework for control of alien marine species to provide decision-making guidance to policymakers, managers, scientists, and other stakeholders. The framework consists of seven basic steps: (1) establish the nature and magnitude of the problem, (2) set objectives, (3) consider the full range of alternatives, (4) determine risk, (5) reduce risk, (6) assess benefits versus risks, and (7) monitor the situation. This framework can provide guidance for control efforts under the existing patchwork of national laws and can help provide a foundation for international cooperation.