Cefas has a diverse aquatic Non-Native Species (work programme covering three key areas; policy advice, monitoring, and research and development. Our work programme addresses knowledge and evidence gaps in line with key legislative drivers, namely the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and EU Invasive Alien Species Regulations. We provide independent, evidence-based advice to Defra and other national and international research institutes and associated 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. Our breadth of expertise and experience positions us as globally recognised leaders in the field of NNS.
Our multidisciplinary work programme includes:
- NNS identification, assessment and monitoring
- Provision of advice on wide range of NNS management including identification, monitoring, containment and eradication
- Employing cutting-edge (e.g. environmental DNA or eDNA) for the detection of, rapid response to, and monitoring of NNS
- application of mathematical modelling to understand NNS population dynamics and their implications for NNS
- Development and implementation of biosecurity measures (including testing)
- Socio-economic analysis of NNS impacts
- Assessment of NNS responses to climate change
- Marine NNS pathway analysis including introduction hotspot mapping
- Technical and scientific input into NIS introduction events e,g, American Lobster release event in 2015.
To address these challenges, Cefas have pioneered the development and application of risk assessment tools and frameworks for aquatic species, conducting risk assessments for a wide range of aquatic species to underpin legislative controls. We also have wide-ranging expertise in applying such assessments to inform NNS management decisions.
We provide independent, evidence-based advice to Defra and other national and international bodies governments, research institutes and associated 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. We are uniquely placed to advise on matters of policy, regulatory frameworks and legislation.
This has included being at the forefront of developing NNS risk analysis schemes for the UK and the EU, the development and application worldwide of NNS risk screening protocols for aquatic species, and membership on national and international NNS committees, such as the GB Non-Native Risk Analysis Panel (NNRAP), the Alien Species Group (ASG) of the UK-TAG, and the ICES working groups for ballast and other ship vectors of NNS (WGBOSV) and for introductions and transfers of marine organisms (WGITMO).
Specific examples of developed tools and their applications include:
- AS-ISK Decision Support Tools – applied to risk assess threats in numerous geographic locations including Europe, Gulf and Caribbean. As a tool AS-ISK has been independently adopted in numerous countries across five continents
- NNS population and dispersal modelling
- Marine NNS pathway and hotspots analysis
- Prediction of NNS responses to climate change
- ENSARS – European Non-native Species in Aquaculture Risk Scheme
- Rapid risk assessments – application of GBNNSS rapid risk assessments process to many aquatic species, including our pink salmon rapid risk assessment.