Call an expert today: +44 (0)114 272 2270
Free Environmental Bulletin: Subscribe now
Free Environmental Bulletin: Subscribe Email: Call: +44 (0)114 272 2270

Invasive Alien Species not welcome in the EU – part 2

8 March 2017

Last week’s blog looked at the new measures put into place by the European Commission against invasive alien species in the EU.

Invasive alien species (IAS) impact on the environment, the economy and also have the potential to impact on human health. The last blog focused on the environmental threat of IAS and the measures which have been put into place by the European Commission to help stop the loss of biodiversity – you can read this here.

Economic Impact

Invasive alien species are also known to have a large economic impact, costing the European economy billions of euros every year (European Commission, IAS). They hold the potential to reduce agricultural, forestry and fishery yields and also have been known to block waterways and industrial water pipes. By having such a negative impact on the ecosystem, they may take over landscapes and natural bodies of water which can have consequent economic impacts if this causes a loss of recreational or historical value to an area.

Impact on Human Health

There is also the impact on human health to consider. Invasive species can trigger allergies and also may carry with them dangerous disease. An example of IAS impacting human health is the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) which is native to South East Asia but has been introduced to Europe as dormant eggs transported on used tyres and other equipment. This mosquito is known to carry more than 20 dangerous human pathogens which include both dengue and yellow fever.


How do these invasive species enter the EU?

Humans have altered the speed of which species are transported around the world. Invasive species can be introduced into non-native environments via two different mechanisms

  1. Natural migration

Natural pathways include wind current and other methods of dispersal where species develop morphological and behavioural characteristics.



  1. Man-made pathways


  • IntentionalThe deliberate action of moving an organism to a new environment.

This includes transportation for food, pets, international commerce and for sport (hunting etc.)

  • AccidentalThe introduction of invasive species that occurs as a by-product of our activities.

This includes small species that ‘hitchhike’ unnoticed on plants, in ballast water that is used to transport large ships, via importation of fruits and vegetables or inside other animals.

New EU Measures

Preventing invasive species from entering the EU is preferable as it is more efficient and cost effective than implementing management methods. The new regulations aim to prevent invasive species of high concern from entering the EU and therefore it is illegal to intentionally bring any of the species into Europe that are listed here.

Preventing the unintentional transportation of species is more difficult, early detection and rapid eradication is vital to minimise the impact that they could have on the surrounding environment. Controlling and eradicating already established species should be conducted carefully, with minimal impact on the environment and sparing the invasive species from avoidable pain and distress.

If you discover an invasive species on your site, see our previous blog post ‘What do I do if I have invasive plant species on my site?’ which outlines your legal responsibilities and how to remove them appropriately.

For further information see the European Commission page on invasive alien species.


Recent Insights

MCPD Flow Diagram

MCPD Flow Diagram

Updated permitting requirements are still being overlooked by many businesses across the UK, potentially putting them at risk of prosecution by the regulators. Do you know whether you need to comply? Use our handy tool below to see if you need a permit.

National Marine Week 2021

National Marine Week 2021

The 24th of July to the 8th of August is “National Marine Week” and aims to encourage us to celebrate our seaside wildlife. In celebration of our marine life, local events are taking place along the UK's coast such as rock-pooling, snorkelling and even dolphin surveys, detailed on The Wildlife Trusts' website.

Fortnightly Bulletin - 19th July

Fortnightly Bulletin - 19th July

Our fortnightly bulletin provides you with news articles, legal updates, key dates and webinars from the environmental sector.

Bulletin Subscription

Subscribe to our FREE fortnightly Environmental Bulletin for news and updates on the environmental industry.

© 2021 Environmental Monitoring Solutions Ltd