The Solent Forum and partners are developing these webpages to help people working and living in the Solent to find out more about marine invasive species, what they look like and how to prevent and manage them using biosecurity measures. Having measures in place is good practice to protect the natural environment of the Solent, reduce biofouling costs and maintenance for local businesses, fulfil statutory environmental duties and assist with licence and consent applications.
We have focused on three areas in the Solent and for each area we will produce a biosecurity action plan along with Solent specific marine invasive species information and a range of pathway specific resources. The first phase in the development of this work is a series of free workshops where we hope to get the experience and input of those moving, managing and maintaining both vessels and waterside infrastructure in the Solent.
Invasive species are those that have been transported outside their natural range and damage our environment, the economy, our health and the way we live. Once established marine invasive species are extremely difficult to eradicate, control and manage. Shipping, ferries and recreational boating are known ways that species travel between areas and the Solent has high volumes of these activities. The risk of successful establishment is also increased by the presence of artificial structures, a factor that is highly relevant to certain areas of the Solent that have been developed.
Marine invasive species pose a threat to the Solent’s native biodiversity and recreation and fishery industries, especially shellfisheries, due to their potential to threaten native species, habitats or whole ecosystems. They also interfere with the operation of man-made structures and business interests through increased maintenance and cleaning of vessels and infrastructure.
Biosecurity planning is developing a set of measures that aim to prevent the introduction and spread of marine invasive species. We will be developing a range of resources for people to use over the course of 2023. These resources are based on pathways identified by Solent stakeholders.
During the lifetime of this project we would like to build a network of interested organisations and groups in the Solent for each of three focus areas. We can then share information with you on this topic and invite you to the relevant free workshops. Please email us if you would like to attend a workshop or receive further information.