Biosecurity and vector behaviour: evaluating the potential threat posed by anglers and canoeists as pathways for the spread of invasive non-native species and pathogens

Anderson, L.G, White, P.C.L, Stebbing, P.D, Stentiford, G.D and Dunn, A.M (2014) 'Biosecurity and vector behaviour: evaluating the potential threat posed by anglers and canoeists as pathways for the spread of invasive non-native species and pathogens.' PLoS ONE, 9 (4). e92788. ISSN 1932-6203

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0092788

Abstract

Invasive non-native species (INNS) endanger native biodiversity and are a major economic problem. The management of pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment is a key target in the Convention on Biological Diversity's Aichi biodiversity targets for 2020. Freshwater environments are particularly susceptible to invasions as they are exposed to multiple introduction pathways, including non-native fish stocking and the release of boat ballast water. Since many freshwater INNS and aquatic pathogens can survive for several days in damp environments, there is potential for transport between water catchments on the equipment used by recreational anglers and canoeists. To quantify this biosecurity risk, we conducted an online questionnaire with 960 anglers and 599 canoeists to investigate their locations of activity, equipment used, and how frequently equipment was cleaned and/or dried after use. Anglers were also asked about their use and disposal of live bait. Our results indicate that 64% of anglers and 78.5% of canoeists use their equipment/boat in more than one catchment within a fortnight, the survival time of many of the INNS and pathogens considered in this study and that 12% of anglers and 50% of canoeists do so without either cleaning or drying their kit between uses. Furthermore, 8% of anglers and 28% of canoeists had used their equipment overseas without cleaning or drying it after each use which could facilitate both the introduction and secondary spread of INNS in the UK. Our results provide a baseline against which to evaluate the effectiveness of future biosecurity awareness campaigns, and identify groups to target with biosecurity awareness information. Our results also indicate that the biosecurity practices of these groups must improve to reduce the likelihood of inadvertently spreading INNS and pathogens through these activities.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: School of Science
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2019 14:56
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2020 15:45
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