An alien non-native species is a species which is not native to the local area / region or Scotland. The introduction of an alien species, either as a deliberate release or inadvertently through escapes can disrupt the natural balance of an ecosystem. Direct effects of an introduced species may include predation, habitat loss or augmentation, or competition for habitat and food resources. Indirect effects from alien species include the introduction and / or spread of diseases and parasites. Most non-native species are very difficult and expensive to eradicate or control once established.
Biosecurity issues are of increasing economic and ecological significance. According to a survey, 'An Audit of Alien Species in Scotland', conducted by Scottish Natural Heritage, there are approximately 1000 non native species present in Scotland and while most exist in small populations with little impact on native flora and fauna, a small but significant proportion of these non native species are invasive. Recognition of the importance of the prevention, control or eradication of non native invasive species, parasites and diseases local river catchments has resulted in Fishery Trusts across Scotland writing Biosecurity Plans to help address these concerns.
The Nith Catchment Biosecurity Plan has now been published and is available to download from here
. It is the aim of the plan to unite different organisations and the general public in the prevention and control of invasive nonnative species (INNS) and anyone who is interested in helping with any of these projects will be welcomed.
Anglers have a key role to play in identifying, reporting and ensuring they do not intentionally or accidently introduce or spread damaging alien species.
Any sightings or questions regarding Biosecurity please contact Debbie Parke at the Nith Catchment Fishery Trust on 01387 740043