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Parliamentary questions
17 May 2018
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission

Regulation 1143/2014(1) provides the EU framework for action against invasive alien species (IAS). In particular, it describes the measures to be taken for IAS of Union concern(2). To date, except for the partly marine Chinese mitten crab(3), no marine species have been included on the Union list. The first step in the consideration of species for listing is the preparation of a risk assessment. Risk assessments for some marine species(4) are under development with a view to consider them for inclusion on the Union list at its next updates.

Moreover, under Directive 2008/56/EC(5), Member States have to ensure that alien species introduced by human activities do not adversely alter the ecosystems. The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund(6) could provide opportunities to support measures for the protection and restoration of marine biodiversity and ecosystems in the framework of sustainable fishing activities. Financial support is also available through the LIFE Programme and the Cohesion policy funds, irrespective of whether the species have been included on the Union list.

Finally, the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation Ballast Water Convention(7) is very important to reduce the spread of marine IAS. To date, 13 EU Member States have ratified it and the Commission is urging the other Member States to follow this example.

The Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has carried out several reviews(8) of the pathways and distribution of marine alien species and their impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services. There are also external research efforts(9). More broadly, JRC has published a report(10) on the current distribution of the IAS of Union concern, while EASIN(11) enables access to data on alien species reported in Europe.

(1)OJ L 317, 4.11.2014, p. 35‐55.
(3)Eriocheir sinensis.
(4)Mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus), silver-cheeked toadfish (Lagocephalus sceleratus), Asian green mussel (Perna viridis), white perch (Morone americana), Asian shore crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus), Veined rapa whelk (Rapana venosa).
(5)Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EC, OJ L164, 25.6.2008, p. 19.
(6)Regulation (EU) No 508/2014, OJ L 149, 20.5.2014, p. 1.
(8)Katsanevakis et al. (2013). Ocean and Coastal Management, 76: 64-74. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569113000562 Nunes et al. (2014). Aquatic Invasions, 9, Issue 2: 133-144. http://www.aquaticinvasions.net/2015/AI_2015_Nunes_etal.pdf Tsiamis et al. (2018). Aquatic Invasions, 13, in press. http://www.aquaticinvasions.net/2018/ACCEPTED/AI_2018_Tsiamis_etal_correctedproof.pdf Katsanevakis et al. (2014). Aquatic Invasions, 9, Issue 4: 391‐423. http://www.aquaticinvasions.net/2014/AI_2014_Katsanevakis_etal.pdf; Katsanevakis et al. (2014). Frontiers in Marine Science, 1, Article 32 : 1-11. http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2014.00032/full; Katsanevakis et al. (2016). Diversity and Distributions, 22: 694‐707. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ddi.12429/epdf Prieto et al. (2015). Scientific Reports, 5:11545. DOI: 10.1038/srep11545 https://www.nature.com/articles/srep11545
(9)E.g. Azzurro et al. (2012). Biological Invasions, 15: 977‐990. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10530-012-0344-4 Azzurro Et al. (2014). Journal of Applied Ichthyology 30:1050‐2.
(11)European Alien Species Information Network: https://easin.jrc.ec.europa.eu/

Last updated: 17 May 2018Legal notice