Going Abroad? Don’t bring back more than you bargained for
In recent years, the rate of new introductions of invasive freshwater species to Britain has increased dramatically. Following the 1992 creation of a canal the Danube and Rhine rivers, numerous species have spread rapidly into Western Europe. Many of these, which include the killer shrimp, quagga and zebra mussel, are highly invasive. Prior to the canal’s construction, a new Ponto-Caspian species was introduced to Britain every 100 years, but the rate has since increased to one new species every 18 months since 2004.
Many more of these and other freshwater species, are present in neighbouring countries such as France, Belguim and the Netherlands. A key concern is that these could be introduced to Britain by recreational water users returning from a trip abroad, during which they’ve used their own kit.
So if you’re off in search of sunny weather and new waters over the summer, remember to:
- Check your equipment, clothing and footwear
- Clean everything thoroughly before your return, using hot water where possible
- Dry everything, as some species can live for over two weeks in damp conditions
Further information can be found here and on Twitter @CheckCleanDryGB