Hellenic Centre for Marine Research DataBase (dataset URL is not available)

External Data Spec Published 07 May 2012
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HCMR DataBase

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Pathways of introduction of marine non-indigenous species to European seas This indicator describes the processes (pathways) that result in the transfer of alien species from one location to another. The identification and categorisation of pathways follows the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) classification as interpreted by the IUCN (2017). A hierarchical approach has been adopted to describe the pathways, based on the framework developed by Hulme et al. (2008). The main pathways shown above, in which a NIS arrive, can be subdivided into the following categories: importation of a commodity; arrival of a transport vector; or spread from a neighbouring region. The principal pathways were identified under the CBD process (UNEP, 2014) as quoted below. Pathways: 'Transport–Stowaway' refers to the moving of live organisms attached to shipping - transporting vessels and associated equipment and media. This pathway is further subdivided (in Figure 2 and Figure 3) into  three sub-groups. The physical means of transport-stowaway include various conveyances, ballast water and sediments (short: T-S/BALLAST WATER), bio-fouling of ships, boats, offshore oil and gas platforms and other water vessels (short: T-S/HULL FOULING), dredging, angling or fishing equipment (short: T-S/OTHER). Recreational boating is also included under this pathway. 'Release in nature' refers to the intentional introduction of live alien organisms for the purpose of human use in the natural environment. Examples include for biological control; erosion control (and dune stabilisation); fishing or hunting in the wild; landscape 'improvement'; and the introduction of threatened organisms for conservation purposes. 'Escape from confinement’; refers to the movement of (potentially) invasive alien species from confinement (e.g. aquaria; aquaculture and mariculture facilities; scientific research or breeding programmes). Through this pathway, the organisms were initially purposefully imported or otherwise transported to the confined conditions, but then escaped from such confinement, unintentionally. This may include the accidental or irresponsible release of live organisms from confinement, including cases such as the disposal of live food into the environment or the use of live baits in an unconfined water system. 'Transport–Contaminant' refers to the unintentional movement of live organisms as contaminants of a commodity that is intentionally transferred through international trade, development assistance, or emergency relief. This includes pests and fisheries as well as contaminants of other products. ‘Corridor’ refers to the movement of alien organisms into a new region following the construction of transport infrastructures, in whose absence the spread would not have been possible. Such trans-bio-geographical corridors include international canals (connecting river catchments and seas). The secondary natural dispersal of invasive alien species that have been introduced by various  pathways is unaided. Information on the mechanisms of the secondary spread of invasive alien species, after their introduction is not considered in this analysis. Trends in primary pathways over 6 year periods should tell a story when combined with management policies applied/implemented over the last decades. In reality, there could be other factors involved, for example: the decrease could be partly explained by the decreasing pool of potential NIS species not yet arrived in Europe; another factor could be variations in sampling effort, available expertise; the decrease may also be a temporal phenomenon etc.. These aspects are no yet considered in this analysis.
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