Marine Research Findings of the VECTORS Project

This website provides access to the research results of the VECTORS project, which can be used to support marine management decisions, policies and governance as well as future research and investment. VECTORS was a large scale project that brought together more than 200 expert researchers from 16 different countries. It examined the significant changes taking place in European seas, their causes, and the impacts they will have on society.

Identifying the top issues of marine invasive alien species in Europe

Invasions of non-indigenous species are acknowledged as one of the major threats to natural environments - terrestrial, freshwater and marine - having ecological, economic and social consequences. A recently adopted Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species, the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive require addressing various aspect related to the assessment and management of non-native species. The current account provides a few specific key issues to be considered when dealing with marine non-native species.


There are several distinct differences in the top issues concerning assessment and management of non-native species in the marine realm compared to those in terrestrial and freshwater environments.

The following specificities characterise marine non-native species as compared to those in terrestrial and freshwater environments: existence of wide regulatory framework to prevent introduction of non-native species, importance of reliable NIS identifications and concern about the loss of taxonomic expertise, existence of major data-gaps which impede comprehensive assessments, need for a unified and appropriate terminology, requirement for standardisation of data and information systems, and management of marine non-natives should focus on invasion pathways/vectors and be regionally coordinated.


Lead Author:

Henn Ojaveer
Estonian Marine Institute (EMI-UT)
Date of research: May 2014

Related articles:

Ecology - Economy interactions in fisheries 

Changes on stocks and management in saithe fishery 

Develop risk assessments leading to best practice

Ecosystem impacts of non-indigenous species

Fish stock location and international agreements

Future scenarios and policy implications 

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The content of this website may be subject to copyright, if you wish to use any of the information or figures please contact the attributed author(s).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 266445
© Vectors 2015. Coordinated by Plymouth Marine Laboratory.