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Title: Conduits of invasive species into the UK : the angling route?
Author: Smith, Emily Rebecca Coridon
ISNI:       0000 0004 7965 0507
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Invasive alien species (IAS) are considered to be among the greatest causes of biodiversity loss worldwide. Once established in the environment, IAS are often impossible to eradicate, resulting in substantial irreversible environmental and socio-economic impacts. Prevention has therefore been recognised as the most effective long-term approach to managing IAS. To prevent future invasions a clear understanding of the pathways of IAS introduction is required. Recognising this, a new EU IAS Regulation (1143/2014) has obligated all Member States to investigate human pathways of IAS introduction and implement action plans to tighten biosecurity. Recreational angling using rods and nets has been identified as one of these pathways. However, there have been limited attempts to determine its significance. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the potential for recreational angling as an international pathway for unintentional introductions of aquatic IAS into mainland Great Britain (GB) from Europe. An online questionnaire was undertaken to establish the current biosecurity behaviour of British anglers and their patterns and frequency of movement to Europe. This information was used to identify 34 private fisheries visited by British anglers in France. Biological surveys at these fisheries revealed the majority of fisheries contained at least one IAS, including high-risk species such as Ludwigia peploides that are currently absent from GB. Species distribution data obtained from the Netherlands provided further evidence of substantial high-risk IAS present in water bodies visited by British anglers. Desiccation tolerance experiments for three of the high-risk IAS present in the French fisheries revealed IAS can survive the return journey from Europe to GB on damp angling equipment. These data indicate that recreational angling represents a substantial risk, contributing to unintentional introductions of IAS into GB. However, through targeting particular elements of the pathway, and the implementation of effective biosecurity measures the risk of the pathway can be substantially reduced.
Supervisor: Bennion, H. ; Sayer, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available