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Recreational angling as a pathway for invasive non-native species spread: awareness of biosecurity and the risk of long distance movement into Great Britain

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Bennion, H. 
Sayer, C. D. 
Aldridge, D. C. 
Owen, M. 


Abstract: Identifying and establishing the relative importance of different anthropogenic pathways of invasive non-native species (INNS) introduction is critical for effective management of their establishment and spread in the long-term. Angling has been identified as one of these pathways. An online survey of 680 British anglers was conducted to establish patterns of movement by British anglers abroad, and to establish their awareness and use of biosecurity practices. The survey revealed that 44% of British anglers travelled abroad for fishing, visiting 72 different countries. France was the most frequently visited country, accounting for one-third of all trips abroad. The estimated time taken to travel from Western Europe into Great Britain (GB) is within the time frame that INNS have been shown to survive on damp angling equipment. Without biosecurity, it is therefore highly likely that INNS could be unintentionally transported into GB on damp angling gear. Since the launch of the Check, Clean Dry biosecurity campaign in GB in 2011, the number of anglers cleaning their equipment after every trip has increased by 15%, and 80% of anglers now undertake some form of biosecurity. However, a significant proportion of the angling population is still not implementing sufficient, or the correct biosecurity measures to minimize the risk of INNS dispersal on damp angling equipment. With the increase in movement of anglers abroad for fishing, further work is required to establish the potential for INNS introduction through this pathway.



Original Paper, Angling, Biosecurity, Awareness, Invasive species, Human pathways

Journal Title

Biological Invasions

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Springer International Publishing
Natural Environment Research Council (NE/L002485/1)