Capstone Title

Marine Invasive Species: Vectors, Impacts and Management

Defense Date

12-2009

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management

First Advisor

Edward Keith

Second Advisor

James T. Carlton

Abstract

Marine invasive species are a growing concern. They are altering our coastal ecosystems, marine biodiversity, fisheries and industrial infrastructures. The main vector for invasive species introduction is the shipping industry via ballast water.

Ballast water can contain bacteria, protists, dinoflagellates, diatoms, zooplankton, benthic invertebrates and even fish. Ballast water management faces many challenges, including the many different approaches to preventive methods. These approaches face the issues of effectiveness, environmental friendliness, cost effectiveness and adhering to safety regulations. There is no one way to prevent the transport of invasive species; whichever method is chosen will have to be approved by government agencies.

Ocean observing, such as GIS and remote sensing analysis, is one method to be used to study current invasion patterns and, combined with other data, ecological impacts. It is a step towards proper monitoring and managing future invasions.

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