What do water chestnut, hydrilla, round goby, and Chinese mitten crab have in common? These plants and animals are all aquatic invasive species. Without the predators, parasites, and diseases that control their numbers in their native habitats, these species can reproduce and spread at an amazing pace.
Aquatic invasive species can be introduced and spread in a variety of ways. Some are spread via home aquariums and water gardens. Others can be spread by boaters and anglers who do not properly clean, drain, and dry their boating and fishing equipment.
Invasive species can alter marine habitats and reduce biodiversity, impacting the local economy and recreational activities. Some marine invasive species attach to substrates such as drains, pipes, vessels, or fishing gear, reducing their efficiency. The impacts of invasive species can be significant, and attempts to eradicate them and restore habitats can be costly. Human health can also be impacted if species transmit diseases or toxins that could potentially be harmful.
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