Thousands of marine animal species, plants and algae are transported away from their native range to “new” areas. These new species are called ‘non-native species’ – sometimes referred to as ‘alien’ or where a problem may be referred to as ‘invasive’ species. These species can be introduced through accidentally (such as in ballast water or attached to boats) or deliberately (such as through aquaculture).
This section relates to the distribution of Non-Native Species within the North East Kent Marine Protected Area (NEKMPA).
Marine non-native species and management is a priority action within the NEKMPA (formerly the North East Kent European Marine Sites) Management Scheme (explained in the 2007-2012 Action Plan, Section 10), outlined in Species Management and Control pdf and has been the focus of local research.
Volunteer Willie McKnight has set up a project to help establish a “Current Account” database of the distribution & impact and contrtol of selected non-native species within the inter-tidal zone of the North East Kent European Marine Sites. This will enable on-going recording, monitoring, data sharing and contribute to the future management of the site:
Whilst a considerable number of species has been recorded in the local table of non-native species (dated 2007) that may require attention within the NE Kent coast and marine area, there are new records all the time – such as the seaweed Caulacanthus ustulatus, the Carpet Sea Squirt and Brushed Clawed Crabs (Hemigrapsus takanoi)