The Department of the Environment, Jersey Water and the Jersey Fresh Water Angling Association have backed a national campaign to raise awareness of the damage invasive species are causing to the local wildlife.
In the past five years the problem of alien species affecting Jersey has increased substantially, with many plants causing extensive harm.
The Non-Native Species Secretariat reports on progress and monitor trends in non-native species data. It has warned that the number of non-native ‘invasive’ species in the wild is increasing, with the potential for serious long-term ecological implications for local biodiversity.
As a result it has launched a national campaign called ‘Check, Clean and Dry,’ which aims to raise awareness of the harm that can be caused when fish and pond plants are moved from one body of water to another – for example, from a domestic aquarium to a local pond or reservoir, or between two ponds by uncleaned boots.
‘Check, Clean and Dry’ asks everyone to ensure that all equipment is cleaned between use, and especially when used between different bodies of water to reduce the threat of accidental introduction to a new area.
Three non-native species, Red-eared slider terrapins, New Zealand pigmy-weed and Water fern have been found in local waters. According to the Department of the Environment, they pose three main risks: introducing disease to native wildlife, blocking local ponds and reservoirs due to uncontrolled growth and endangering native species by changing their habitats.
Pictured: The 'Check, Clean, Dry' poster includes tips on how to reduce contamination between ponds.
Deputy Steven Luce, Minister for the Environment, said: “Despite our size, Jersey is highly prized for its rich and diverse habitats and recognised as home to a number of internationally important species and habitats. We’ve made a commitment to conserve and enhance it so we can hand it on to future generations intact. Invasive non-native species are a growing threat and I urge people to be aware of what they can do to help limit the risk by supporting this campaign.”
Mark Bowden from Jersey Water added: “Maintaining Jersey’s environment and the supply of clean, fresh water is paramount. We invite the public as guests on to our recreational reservoir sites and encourage all visitors to ensure that they do not bring anything to the land and the water which they will leave behind, including litter and unwanted pets and plants.”
Scott Roberts, Chairman of the Jersey Freshwater Angling Association, said “We are pleased to support this initiative as many of our members fish in waters other than in Jersey, and are very responsible when it comes to ensuring there is no contaminated equipment or material taken out of, or brought back into our island’s waters.”
Jersey also attended the British Irish Council Environment meeting in Dublin this week where the issue of non-native species was one of the hot-topics.
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