Biological invasions contribute to the decline of many ecosystems worldwide. They decrease native biodiversity, can pose health problems and interfere with commercial activities. The impact of seaweed invaders is significant and believed to be irreversible.
In Ireland, invasive seaweeds are often overlooked, and thus a collective effort is necessary to assess the extent of this environmental hazard. This project, based at NUI Galway, has 3 objectives:
- Mapping invasive species, their abundance and impact in Ireland, through information gathered in targeted scientific surveys and citizen science involvement.
- Exploring the potential applications of products derived from invasive seaweeds in Ireland. This approach includes chemistry, ecology and social economy, to identify risks and benefits of the exploitation of invasive species in the marine environment. These different aspects will be developed to evaluate the biotechnological potential of chosen invasive seaweed.
- tackling the issue of sourcing of biomass through harvesting and/or cultivation, to recommend or advise against any potential exploitation of the target species.
Which Species Are We Looking For?
How Can You Help Us?
Keep an eye out for the species described in the identification sheets on this page.
Take a photo and report any of these species you find on your nearby shore using this form.
Your contribution is very important for us.