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UK Waters Invaded by Foreign Species

UK - Foreign marine species are making their way into UK waters via aquaculture projects.

According to Jonathan Owen of the Independent, British waters are being invaded by a wave of species making their way in from the sea, according to a new study.

"We may see a progression towards globalisation of fauna"
Dr Mieszkowska

While foreign varieties of barnacles, brown seaweed and kelp may not sound dramatic, they are, in effect, slipping in under the radar, their progress hastened by climate change, concludes research by Dr Nova Mieszkowska from the Marine Biological Association.

Their arrival will add to pressure on native species already under siege by a range of marine invaders to Britain's shores such as the American red signal crayfish and the Pacific oyster, writes Mr Owen. Some have arrived as a result of climate change, while others have made their way here on ships' hulls, in ballast water or through the global trade in aquaculture.

"All of these alterations to our ecosystems are impacting biodiversity. We are likely to face a loss in native biodiversity as warming forces our species out of many of their habitats," Dr Mieszkowska told TheIndependent.

"The worst-case scenario is that aliens will continue to arrive and become established, and that we may see a progression towards globalisation of fauna, whereby communities in several remote countries all have a similar list of species instead of the diversity that we see today."