What is biosecurity?

Biosecurity is a term that encompasses the procedures taken to reduce the risk of introducing non-native species and diseases into an area, and the measures taken to prevent the spread of these should they become established.

Naturally, movement of marine animals and plants have been limited by barriers to their dispersal, however increasingly human activity is interfering with these barriers, leading to an increase in the introduction of new species and diseases into the environment. Non-native species and diseases threaten biodiversity, fisheries and have great economic costs, with an annual cost to the British economy of approximately £1.7 billion (Williams et al., 2010).

Eastern IFCA is currently reviewing its biosecurity plan. Knowledge of the distribution of invasive non-native species is crucial to stopping their spread into and within our district.

How can I report sightings of invasive non-native species?

The GB Non-Native Species Secretariat lists the tools available that anyone can use to record biological records of non-native species, this information can be found here:

If you want a quick and easy way to record sightings, you can download the free “That’s Invasive!” smartphone app by RINSE (Reducing the Impact of Non-Native Species in Europe). The app allows you to identify, photograph and record over 35 non-native species currently found in Europe. More information on the smartphone app can be found here:

You can also report sightings of invasive non-native species to Eastern IFCA at

Whenever you report sightings of invasive non-native species, the more information you can provide the better. Please include photographs and precise locations of species wherever possible.


What species should I look out for?

A Cefas guide to marine invasive non-native species to look out for throughout the UK can be found here.

The GB Non-Native Species Secretariat also have identification sheets that can be used to identify species to look out for:


What can I do to reduce the risk of introducing invasive non-native species?

The GB Non-Native Species Secretariat provide a wealth of information on stopping the spread of invasive plants and animals on their website:

Wash Fishery Order 1992 – shellfish lays

Lay holders must seek Eastern IFCA’s consent to deposit any seed shellfish from outside of The Wash onto WFO Shellfish Lays.

As you will be aware, the Wash hosts highly productive fisheries and internationally important habitats and species.  Any seed from outside of The Wash has the potential to carry disease or non-native species which represents a risk to the site.  Obtaining our permission is a check and balance to reduce the risk to the fishery and environment.

Eastern IFCA will endeavour to consider formal requests relating to the above as quickly as possible and in any case within 10 days.  However, please be advised that such consent may require Eastern IFCA to undertake research or seek guidance and advice from other bodies which may increase the time required to process such a request.

The lease also requires that no shellfish are removed from lays unless Eastern IFCA are informed of its destination (condition 9(g)).  This includes where shellfish are going straight to market or as ‘improved seed’.

Eastern IFCA has produced ‘shellfish movement forms’ to capture this information and which must be completed by WFO Shellfish Lay Holders when moving shellfish onto and/or off of lays.  Further forms can be obtained by clicking here or from the Office.  Please submit these forms as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary delays in consent.


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