Aquatic Invasive Species

What are Aquatic Invasive Species?

Aquatic Invasive Species is a term used to describe an aquatic organism which is not native to a region and which has the potential to cause harm to the environment, human health, or economic activity.

Although very few AIS have been discovered in Newfoundland, other areas of Atlantic Canada are currently facing invasion of several invertebrate and algal species. These species have increased labour and processing costs associated with aquaculture production in the Maritimes substantially, and could also present a threat to Newfoundland aquaculture and fishing industries.

Eradication of these species once they have become established seems to be an unrealistic solution. A more realistic option is to support prevention of the introduction of these species and control the spread of existing populations. Successful control of invasive organisms may be possible if they are detected early and their populations are known.

Click to learn about the different kinds of Aquatic Invasive Species.

Aquatic Invasive Species















How do introductions occur?

 Each year thousands of aquatic organisms are transported throughout the world via human mediated pathways such as:

  • Ship/pleasure boat hull fouling
  • Ballast water release
  • Transport of fouled docks
  • Fishing and boating equipment
  • Accidental or intentional aquaria or live bait release

Hull fouling and ballast water release represent the vector with the greatest potential for introduction of AIS into Newfoundland and Labrador

What can you do to stop invasions?

1. Learn to identify invaders and report them

Please take the time to learn how to identify the 7 aquatic species listed above. For a booklet version of this information please contact NAIA. The booklet is ideal for taking with you when spending time in the marine environment.

2. Eliminate pathways of introduction. Take the necessary precautions to avoid transfer of invasive organisms:

  • Clean your boats & gear of all plants, animals and mud.
  • Drain all water form the vessel before transferring to another water body.
  • Use anti-fouling methods (scraping, antifouling paint, etc.) to eliminate hull fouling.
  • Do not throw live bait in the ocean; use a trash can instead.

3. Spread the word

Tell those you know who are a part of marine activities to get involved. Keep an eye out for aquatic invaders and report any findings in your area to one of these contacts:

Darrell Green
Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association
T: (709) 754-2854
E: [email protected]
Cynthia McKenzie
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
T: (709) 772-6984
E: [email protected]
Derek Mouland
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
T: (709) 292-4118
E: [email protected]
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