UNEP/CMS: Alien Invaders Threaten World Heritage Site

Aliens have settled and are multiplying around Europe’s Wadden Sea. Those were the findings of a report delivered at a special conference to mark Wadden Sea Day – an overview of recent research on the marine World Heritage Site.

The “Quality Status Report for the Wadden Sea 2009” reveals that a diverse range of alien species are increasing at an alarming rate in the sea, which borders the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. Many of the species have become abundant and several can be regarded as invasive with a significant impact on the recipient ecosystem. They pose a severe threat to the native biodiversity. In addition, they could become a serious problem to human health. For instance, the sharp shells of Pacific Oysters can cause injuries to mud flat walkers’ feet and oysters or other aliens may carry agents that cause infections. Economic losses result from incurring costs for managing or even eradicating invasive alien species. Oysters covering blue mussel beds reduce fishermen’s yield. Read on