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Introduction to Maritime Transportation: Non-Indigenous Aquatic Invasive Species Dr. Ted Grosholz Department of Environmental Science and Policy University of California, Davis Defining Introduced Species

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Introduction to maritime transportation non indigenous aquatic invasive species l.jpg

Introduction to Maritime Transportation:Non-Indigenous Aquatic Invasive Species

Dr. Ted Grosholz

Department of Environmental Science and Policy

University of California, Davis


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Defining Introduced Species

  • “Introduced species” (or non-indigenous) are those moved outside their normal range due to human activities

  • Like extinction, introductions are a natural process, but we have increased the natural rate by about 106


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Defining Invasive Species

  • “Invasive species” are those introduced species that cause measurable economic or ecological damage (most do not)

  • Federal Executive Order 13112 states: “invasive species” is defined as a species that is (1) non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and (2) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health


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Ecological Consequences of Biological Invasions

  • Biological invasions are among most important threats to global biodiversity, second only to habitat loss

  • Invasive species can consume, out compete, and drive native species to extinction

  • Invasive species can affect the local diversity and functioning of entire ecosystems


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Ecological Consequences of Biological Invasions

  • In the U.S., 10% of all plants and animals are introduced

  • Introduced species are a significant risk factor for more than 40% of listed threatened and endangered species in the U.S.


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Economic Consequences of Biological Invasions

  • They cost the world’s economy hundreds of billions per year (IUCN)

  • Introduced species cost the U.S. $128 billion per year (Pimentel et al. 2000)

  • A significant portion of this includes impacts on fisheries, boating, coastal recreation, etc.


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Invasions in U.S. Coastal Systems

  • Few if any coastal systems remain without introduced species

  • In U.S. waters, 500 spp. of introduced species

    • Great Lakes >140 spp.

    • Chesapeake Bay >200 spp.

    • San Francisco Bay >240 spp.

  • In San Francisco Bay, new species every 14 weeks


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Millions of Dollars Spent in California

  • In San Francisco Bay/Delta and elsewhere in CA, $30 million has been spent over the last two decades controlling aquatic weeds

  • In Southern California, the cost of controlling the seaweed Caulerpa taxifolia was been $2.5 million per year

  • New control programs for invasive plants (Spartina marsh cord grass) are costing the state $10-100 thousand per year


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Intentional Introductions

  • Many species have been introduced intentionally for a variety of reasons

  • Plants (e.g. marsh grasses) have been brought into to provide forage for animals or for restoration purposes

  • Fishes (e.g. striped bass) and shellfish (e.g. oysters) have been introduced to create new fisheries

  • Predators/parasites have been introduced for biocontrol of agricultural pests (never in a marine system though)


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Unintentional Introductions

  • Most introduced species have been introduced accidentally or unintentionally

  • Most of these have been brought in by transport vectors (ships) or as bait or seafood

  • In many cases they have been accidental hitchhikers with aquaculture shipments (e.g. oysters)



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Ballast Water

  • Ballast water is an important source of unintended introductions of marine species

  • Water ships take on to stabilize them, particularly when they are unloaded

  • Large commercial and military ships may contain over a million gallons of water up to 300 species

  • Estimated that 100 million metric tons of ballast water with exotic plankton are released daily in U. S. waters


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Fouling on Ship Hulls

Underwater view of a highly fouled ship hull showing attached fouling organisms


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Hull Fouling

  • Species attached to hull or living in/on others are transported among harbors

  • Although fewer organisms, fouling can include reproductive adults

  • 800 million square meters of wetted surface area into North America per day

  • In U.S., of 171 species introduced due to shipping, more are linked to hull fouling than ballast water

  • In Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia, hull fouling may be the most important vector for introductions



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Hull Fouling by shipping (n=171)

  • Risk of hull fouling a function of several factors

    • Vessel speed

    • Harbor residence time

    • Voyage duration

    • Surface area

    • Last cleaning

    • Areas on vessel not subject to shear (intakes, sea chest)

  • New technologies emerging for anti-fouling paints

    • Less toxic compounds (but still effective)

    • Teflon coatings, organisms slough off


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Recreational Boats by shipping (n=171)and Trailers

  • Recreational boats and trailers are frequently and rapidly transported over significant distances

  • Little regulation regarding cleaning boats, trailers, other exposed equipment


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Recreational Boats by shipping (n=171)and Trailers

  • Very likely possibility of zebra mussels invading California

  • Several instances of live zebra mussels found on boats entering CA

  • A matter of time…


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Other Shipping Pathways by shipping (n=171)for Introduced Species

  • Docks, barges and oilrigs with fouling can introduce organisms

  • Sediments, sands, gravel, or rocks with organisms can result in introductions

  • Traps, ropes, anchors, buoys, etc. all can transport species to new areas

  • Transport of these items can accelerate the movement of species along coasts from initial site of introduction


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Other Pathways of Introduction by shipping (n=171)

  • Release from home aquariums

  • Escape of live seafood products

  • Dumping of live bait containers and packing materials


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Other Pathways of by shipping (n=171)Introduction

  • Transfers of aquaculture products or fish stocks

  • Intentional introductions to establish new fisheries

  • Escape from backyard ornamental ponds


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Examples of Impacts by shipping (n=171)

  • Zebra mussels cost $100s million per year in U.S. to remove from water pipes, screens, intakes

  • Aquatic plants (Hydrilla, Egeria, Water Hyacinth) and seaweed invasions (Caulerpa in So. CA) cost CA $$ millions per year

  • In CA, Chinese mitten crabs, European green crabs and other have also resulted in substantial costs


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Example: by shipping (n=171)San Francisco Bay

  • Asian Clam (Potamocorbula amurensis)

    • Has eliminated seasonal cycle of planktonic plants that support the SF Bay foodweb

  • Asian Copepods (Limnoithona tetraspina, Tortanus dextrilobatus)

    • Replaces native copepods, not good food for fishes

  • Introduced species may are likely contributing significantly to the decline of fishes/pelagic organisms in SF Bay (the Pelagic Organism Decline POD)


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Example: by shipping (n=171)San Francisco Bay/Delta

Native Copepod

Introduced Copepod


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Example: by shipping (n=171)San Francisco Bay/Delta

From California Dept. of Fish and Game


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Example: San Diego and by shipping (n=171)Orange County

  • The invasive alga Caulerpa taxifolia (Med.) had huge impacts in Mediterranean where no control measures used

  • In CA since 2001, it has cost more than $6 million for it’s eradication

  • Officially declared eradicated Feb. 2006


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Example: by shipping (n=171)Sac-SJ Delta

  • Chinese Mitten Crabs (Eriocheir sinensis) live in freshwater as juveniles then return to Bay to reproduce

  • Mitten Crabs clogged Fish Salvage Facilities in 1998 and nearly shut down the Tracy facility

  • Could shut down irrigated agriculture statewide


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Solutions: by shipping (n=171)Early Detection

  • Most cost-effective investment is fund a regular survey of high priority sites of introduction

  • Early detection of an invasion can allow eradication just after the species has become established

  • An annual survey of 6 high priority sites in CA could be accomplished cheaply saving the state millions


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Solutions: by shipping (n=171)Rapid Response

  • Eradication is only possible as the result of early detection and a very rapid response

  • A comprehensive rapid response plan for priority species is required for effectively dealing with a new invasion

  • Prior agreements/MOUs outlining authorities and means of coordination must be in place before the invasion

  • Public education to raise awareness about the the risks and costs of invasions


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Solutions: Eradication by shipping (n=171)

  • Eradication is difficult but not impossible if initiated early in the invasion

  • Several successful eradications in marine/estuarine systems

    • Striped mussel (Mytilopsis sallei) in Australia

    • Abalone parasite in California (Terebrasabella heterouncinata)

    • Caulerpa taxifolia in southern California

    • Brown algae (Ascophyllum nodosum) in SF Bay


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Policy Issues: by shipping (n=171)Ballast Water Legislation

  • Federal legislation (mandatory reporting)

    • NISA (1996)

    • NAISA (near future)

  • State legislation

    • California AB 703 (1999) and AB 433 (2003)

    • CA State Lands Comm. and US Coast Guard

    • Requires flow through exchange or open ocean exchange beyond 200 nm and 2000 m depth (ships >300 GRT)

    • Requires reporting, ballast management plan, ballast water log, personnel training, etc.


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Policy Issues: by shipping (n=171)Ballast Water Legislation

  • Future

    • Alternate Ballast Water Exchange Areas (ABWEA)

      • For ships coming from outside 200 nm without exchanging, provide alternate exchange sites

    • New technologies possible for ballast treatment

      • Ship based (e.g. cyclonic separation, deoxygenation, filtration, UV, chemicals)

      • Shore based (e.g. feed to existing treatment systems)


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Case Study: Port of by shipping (n=171)Oakland Expansion

  • Plans to expand the Port of Oakland

  • In 2001, Center for Marine Conservation and San Francisco BayKeeper sued ACE, USFWS and NMFS

  • Environmentalists argued that expansion would violate ESA and NEPA by bringing in more ballast water and introduced species into the bay

  • The risk of increased ballast release and invasive species are a concern for several new or expanding ports along the west coast


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Case Study: by shipping (n=171)The Mothball Fleet

  • Section 1158 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1986 (46 USC App. 1158) gives the Secretary of Transportation the authority to sell or scrap obsolete vessels transferred to or acquired by MARAD

  • Section 6 of the National Maritime Heritage Act of 1994 (PL 103-451) directs the Secretary of Transportation to dispose of vessels in the National Defense Reserve Fleet not assigned to the Ready Reserve Force

  • This Suisun Fleet was considered for “ship breaking” in Newport, OR

  • Concern about introducing species from SF Bay to Newport Bay, since ships sitting for years without cleaning


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Case Study: by shipping (n=171)The Mothball Fleet

  • Two ships were monitored as they were moved from Suisun through Panama Canal to the Gulf of Mexico (40 days)

  • Many organisms died but some (barnacles, hydroids) made it through the ocean-freshwater transition

  • Concern about the movement of retired vessels will continue to be an important issue for MARAD


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For More Information: by shipping (n=171)

  • Aquatic Bioinvasion Research and Policy Institute

    • www.clr.pdx.edu/abrpi/

  • West Coast Ballast

    • http://ballast-outreach-ucsgep.ucdavis.edu/

  • Smithsonian Marine Bioinvasions Laboratory

    • http://www.serc.si.edu/labs/marine_invasions/

  • Reducing the Introduction and Distribution of Non-Native Invasive Species (RIDNIS)

    • http://www.ridnis.ucdavis.edu/


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