Invasive Marine Species
Around the globe, there are approximately 2000 Non-Indigenous Marine Species (NIMS) that are known to have been introduced to marine or estuarine systems. In Australian marine waters, there are approximately 450 established marine species that are either non-indigenous or whose origins are inconclusive (Hewitt et al. 2011).
NIMS that survive and establish reproductive populations in regions where they did not previously occur often have no known impacts, although some species can cause major damage and are variously referred to as Invasive Marine Species (IMS), ‘marine pests’ or ‘IMS of concern’. Some IMS can facilitate the introduction of additional species, and their cumulative impacts can significantly undermine the structure, function and persistence of native ecosystems. It is predicted that each year ~3–4 additional IMS will continue to establish in Australian waters unless marine biosecurity management improves.
To assist in the identification of some of the IMS of concern to Australia's marine environment Biofouling Solutions has developed 33 pest identification sheets. The sheets were developed for the Western Australian Department of Fisheries and can be accessed by clicking on the smaller pictures listed below each Phyla, or the relevant 'ID Sheet" included in the table at the bottom of this page.