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Oyster transfers as a vector for marine species introductions: a realistic approach based on the macrophytes
Verlaque, M.; Boudouresque, C.-F.; Mineur, F. (2007). Oyster transfers as a vector for marine species introductions: a realistic approach based on the macrophytes, in: CIESM Impact of mariculture on coastal ecosystems. Lisboa, 21-24 February 2007. CIESM Workshop Monographs, 32: pp. 39-48
In: CIESM (2007). Impact of mariculture on coastal ecosystems. Lisboa, 21-24 February 2007. CIESM Workshop Monographs, 32. CIESM: Monaco. 118 pp., more
In: CIESM Workshop Monographs. CIESM Editions: Monaco. ISSN 1726-5886, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Verlaque, M.
  • Boudouresque, C.-F.
  • Mineur, F.

Abstract
    Transfer of livestock is a common practice in shellfish aquaculture. As part of the EU Program ALIENS 'Algal Introductions to European Shores' and the Programme National sur l’Environnement Cotier (PNEC) "Lagunes Mediterraneennes", an assessment of the efficiency of oyster transfers as vector of unintentional species introduction was carried out, focused on the marine macrophytes. This investigation included a field study of the exotic flora of two major French aquaculture sites: the Thau Lagoon (Mediterranean) (58 exotic species identified) and the Arcachon Basin (NE Atlantic) (21 exotic species identified), a bibliographical analysis of the exotic marine flora of 34 Mediterranean coastal lagoons (68 exotic species listed) and finally an experimental study of the vector efficiency by simulation of oyster transfers. The results confirmed the high degree of efficiency of the importation, transfer and farming of non-indigenous and native commercial shellfish especially oysters, as a vector of primary introduction and secondary dispersal of marine macrophytes . The importation of non-indigenous oysters, in particular the Japanese oyster Crassostrea gigas, involved massive quantities between 1964 and about 1980, and the regular transfers between aquaculture sites have been responsible for the introduction and the dispersal of several dozens of exotic macrophytes. When compared to the other major vectors of introduction (hull fouling, ballast waters , Suez Canal) , the shellfish trade is by far the main vector of introduction of exotic macrophytes into the Mediterranean and the NE Atlantic . These results are discussed and recommendations for action are proposed.

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