Biosecurity Planning

Mink with trout parr. Photo courtesy of John McAvoy

Biosecurity Issues:

OHFT Biosecurity Plan 2010/2015

Biosecurity issues are of increasing economic and ecological significance. Globalisation has expanded the possibilities, extent and complexity of world trade and the growth of the tourism market has expanded the number of destinations for activity holidays and travellers. These trends have led to the increased probability of the unintentional as well as intentional introduction, establishment and spread of non native species, parasites and diseases in Scotland and the UK. 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 the majority of which exist in small populations with little impact on native flora and fauna. However, a small but significant proportion of these non native species are invasive.

Invasive species are the second greatest threat to biodiversity and their ecological impacts and economic consequences can be devastating (e.g. Gyrodactylus salaris). This is reflected in the increasing priority given to invasive non native species in the European, UK and Scottish legal, strategy and planning frameworks. Recognition of the importance of the prevention, control or eradication of invasive non native species, parasites and diseases in river catchments provided the justification for the implementation of the RAFTS Biosecurity Planning Project.

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Project Description

The biosecurity planning project is being implemented from October 2008 to May 2011 through RAFTS with support from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Scottish Government.  Strategic guidance to the project is provided by a Steering Group comprised of representatives from the Scottish Government, SNH, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), the GB Non Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) and the Argyll Fisheries Trust.

The overall aim of the project is the production of local biosecurity plans for each of the 20 constituent trusts of RAFTS. Key project outputs and actions are:

1.   Biosecurity plans for each of the 20 member trusts;

2.   Formulation of a biosecurity plan template;

3.   Rapid response protocols and database; and

4.   Awareness raising and training.

OHFT Biosecurity Plan

The OHFT Biosecurity Plan was published in 2010. The plan identifies Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) that are known to be present in the area, such as Rhododendron and Japanese knotweed, but also species that represent a significant threat, such as Gyrodactylus salaris and the North American signal crayfish. The main priorities are to establish the distribution of a number of INNS on the islands, and also raise awareness to prevent new introductions of potentially damaging species.

With assistance from RAFTS, OHFT produced the Invasive Non Native Species Information Pack

For more information on the Biosecurity Planning project or to report a siting of an invasive species in the area please contact the Trust Biologist.