Invasive Alien Species

In 2011, a variety of groups captured the attention of politicians and administrators globally by arguing that Invasive Alien Species (IAS) cost the world’s economy the equivalent of 5% of global GDP annually.

Alien/non-native species are those that are moved either intentionally or accidentally from outside their natural range.  Invasive species are those that thrive and rapidly colonise a wide area causing damage to the ecosystem.

OATA recognises that virtually every species that we trade in is not native to the UK.  However,  it is equally true that very few of those species we trade in could ever become invasive, indeed most couldn’t survive in the UK’s natural environment.  OATA and its members have a responsibility to ensure our activities do not unreasonably impact on the wider community, therefore our activities are two-fold:

  1. We work to ensure that species are never released in the wild and so never become invasive.
  2. We work to ensure that unsubstantiated claims about the potential invasiveness of species are not heard without being addressed.  To achieve this, we work with authorities in the UK, Europe and globally.

OATA tries to ensure that any legislation is measured, rational and protects the environment.  Working with initiatives such as the Be Plant Wise campaign ensures that the industry and fish keepers are part of the solution rather than the problem.

OATA also works closely with UK Authorities and Agencies with regards the Import of Live Fish Act – (pdf), which regulates the trade in some fish species.

Click here – (pdf) to download The European Code of Conduct on Pets and Invasive Alien Species.