Cefas’ research on aquatic non-native species (NNS) issues encompasses a broad range of scientific disciplines, using a multidisciplinary approach to finding solutions to problems. The resulting evidence base forms the foundation of our position as recognised leaders in the field of NNS. We provide expert advice to customers in governments, the marine and freshwater industries and other associated organisations.
Cefas conducts work on many aspects of NNS, including the development and implementation of:
Use of cutting-edge molecular tools (e.g. environmental DNA or eDNA) for the detection of, rapid response to, and monitoring of NNS.
Risk analysis schemes and decision-support tools (including protocols for the identification and assessment of risks related to NNS entry, establishment, dispersal and impact)
Applied bio-security measures (including testing)
NNS management and monitoring programmes
Our state-of-the-art bio-secure experimental facilities are fully accredited, and our experienced researchers and support staff facilitate this work to ensure the highest quality. We also conduct field-based research and survey work for our customers and have a dedicated research vessel.
We provide independent, evidence-based advice to Defra and other national and international bodies on a wide range of subjects related to the impact and management of NNS. Our advice has contributed to the development and implementation of regulatory controls in the UK, EU and beyond. This means that we are best placed to advise our customers on matters of policy, regulatory frameworks and legislation.
This has included being at the forefront of developing risk screening protocols for aquatic species, which have subsequently been adopted in several countries across five continents. Cefas has conducted risk assessments for a wide range of aquatic species to underpin legislative controls. We also have extensive expertise in applying such assessments to NNS management, which is a crucial element of the decision-making process and development of management strategies.
Decision-support tools for pre-screening of NNS to determine their likelihood of being invasive and for assessing NNS management options, their impacts and possible mitigations