The Quiet Invasion, Law and Policy Responses to Invasive Species in North America

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Invasive Species, Biological Diversity, Aquaculture, World Trade, Possible Responses, Legal Tools


Invasive species are a serious threat to biological diversity and cause economic losses to such industries as agriculture, aquaculture, and forestry. The magnitude of the aquatic invasive species problem has increased exponentially with the expansion of world trade. In response, there have been some efforts made internationally and domestically to prevent, eradicate and control aquatic invasive species in recent years. This article provides an overview of those efforts. It is becoming clear, however, that the response to date has been inadequate, and much remains to be done. New pathways and new invasions are still being discovered, often at a stage when invaders have become well established, thereby making prevention, eradication and control very expensive and difficult to achieve. This study provides a survey of legal tools available to address aquatic invasive species, and suggests possible responses.