For many years, plants or animals have been brought to our shores by people through a range of different pathways, such as the movement of boats, equipment, goods or stock. These movements arise from both international trade and recreational and leisure activities. Where these species have a negative impact on our native wildlife or people’s well-being or the economy they are termed invasive. It is important to have protocols in place to detect and then respond to invasive species in our coastal and marine environments. The best line of defence is to try to prevent these invasive non-natives arriving in the first place by having appropriate biosecurity measures in place.

Examples of non-native invasive species around the UK include:

Organisations such as Biosecurity for LIFE are working to raise awareness of the threat of invasive predators, such as rats, mink, stoats and feral cats which can be devastating for island seabird populations. Their aim is to put in place systems to prevent their accidental introduction to islands.