Management priorities for marine invasive species

Sylvaine Giakoumi, Stelios Katsanevakis, Paolo G. Albano, Ernesto Azzurro, Ana Cristina Cardoso, Emma Cebrian, Alan Deidun, Dor Edelist, Patrice Francour, Carlos Jimenez, Vesna Mačić, Anna Occhipinti-Ambrogi, Gil Rilov, Yassine Ramzi Sghaier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Managing invasive alien species is particularly challenging in the ocean mainly because marine ecosystems are highly connected across broad spatial scales. Eradication of marine invasive species has only been achieved when species were detected early, and management responded rapidly. Generalized approaches, transferable across marine regions, for prioritizing actions to control invasive populations are currently lacking. Here, expert knowledge was elicited to prioritize 11 management actions for controlling 12 model species, distinguished by differences in dispersion capacity, distribution in the area to be managed, and taxonomic identity. Each action was assessed using five criteria (effectiveness, feasibility, acceptability, impacts on native communities, and cost), which were combined in an ‘applicability’ metric. Raising public awareness and encouraging the commercial use of invasive species were highly prioritized, whereas biological control actions were considered the least applicable. Our findings can guide rapid decision-making on prioritizing management options for the control of invasive species especially at early stages of invasion, when reducing managers' response time is critical.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)976-982
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - 20 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is a contribution of the ANR project “PAVIS: Assessing the relationships between marine protected areas and invasive species” (ANR-16-ACHN-0016-01) and the COST Action 15121 “MarCons: Advancing marine conservation in the European and contiguous seas” supported by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology ( CA15121 ). We would like to thank K.L. Yates for language suggestions and A. Pey for his assistance in processing the questionnaires.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors


  • Expert knowledge elicitation
  • Management actions
  • Marine conservation
  • Marine invasive species
  • Non-native species
  • Prioritization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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