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Investigating the efficacy of citizen science for monitoring marine invasive non-native species - ME5214

To field-test methods of identification of invasive non-native species (INNS) by citizen volunteers, and assess the potential for volunteers to play a role in delivering the UK’s monitoring requirements for the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). INNS are considered the second most important driver of biodiversity loss, after habitat loss, which is reflected in the requirement to reduce the impact of INNS under the EU MSFD; descriptor 2 requires that “non-indigenous species introduced by human activities and at levels that do not adversely alter the ecosystem”. This project will help Defra to assess the abundance and state of species, and the environmental impact of INNS. Early detection increases the effectiveness of management measures, and this project will provide guidance for policy makers on whether citizen volunteers could be used as part of the UK’s approach to detection and monitoring of INNS in the marine environment. The project builds on an existing Defra-funded project with Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the Marine Biological Association of the UK. The results of the project could also be relevant to INNS in the freshwater or terrestrial environment.
The project will deploy settlement panels in marinas around Cornwall over summer 2013. The settlement panels will be used to
-Compare the results obtained by i) photography and ID, ii) direct sampling and iii) expert rapid assessment for detection of marine INNS. Assess the advantages, disadvantages and risks associated with each method.
-Compare results obtained using photographs of different quality – for example, those taken using scientific camera equipment versus ‘amateur’ camera equipment (e.g. camera phone).
-Assess the suitability of volunteer data for detection of marine INNS, and consider how the technique might be used to contribute to marine INNS monitoring for the MSFD
-Determine options for spatial distribution and placement of panels for effective detection of marine INNS
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : ME5214 Marine citizen science Evid4 report   (1417k)
• FRP - Final Report : ME5214 Marine citizen science final report   (1782k)
• ANX - Annex : Annex 1 SW Marinas Seaweed Inventory 2013   (21k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2014

Cost: £27,781
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Cornwall Wildlife Trust