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Policy-making and Species Eradication

Professor Rudy Gozlan, Dr Rob Britton and Dr Demetra Andreou

Impact on policy

BU’s research into the ecology and management of non-native fish has provided the evidence base for regulations, policy and management programmes. In turn, this protects native biodiversity and an aquaculture and sport angling industry worth over £3 billion per year.

The introduction of non-native fish can have conflicting impacts, being positive through delivering socio-economic benefit and negative through causing ecological and economic damage. This reinforces the need for strong evidence to be put to policy makers’ attention to distinguish which type of impact a non-native species would have. This research has impacted policy at both a European and UK level.

As a result of this research, if any organisation or business applies for permission to import and introduce a new non-native freshwater fish species into a European country, they must complete a risk assessment based on BU’s definitions of ecological impact.

The research revealed Pseudorasbora parva as a carrier of the intracellular pathogen, Sphaerothecum destruens. In 2011 and 2012, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Welsh Assembly committed to eradicating all known populations of Pseudorasbora parva in their countries by 2017.