Non-native animal or plant species are of concern to biologists and environment managers throughout the world including eastern Canada. Invasive species can threaten aquatic ecosystems, occupying habitats or out-competing native species. These invasive species may show rapid population growth in the absence of natural predators and may soon become established to the point where eradication is impossible.
Aquatic invasive species can be introduced in several ways: either naturally as larvae or as fragments drifting in water currents for instance; or through human activities, attached to boat hulls, in ballast waters or through deliberate introductions.
These various invaders pose threats to ecology and the economy. While regulators, scientists, and members of the aquaculture and fishing industries are the most concerned, the problem affects everyone using our waters: recreational boaters, fishers and harvesters, cottage owners, divers, etc.
The best approach for protecting our ecosystems from these invaders is to keep them out in the first place, and to do this, everybody's cooperation is essential.
This booklet contains information on major species that have invaded marine environments of eastern Canada - how to identify them and what you can do to prevent their spread and establishment.