What are Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS)?

Invasive non-native species are those animals and plants brought to the UK by human activities (i.e. transported on the hulls of boat), that successfully live and grow on our land and in our waters and that have an impact on native species, our health and / or economy.

Are INNS already in Falmouth?

Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) are already present in Falmouth Harbour and the wider South West. The Marine Biological Association (MBA) last surveyed our pontoons in 2016 and found 13 species of INNS. The results of this survey and one completed in 2013 are available here.

Falmouth Harbour have assessed the INNS risk resulting from our activities and have generated a Biosecurity Plan for the Falmouth Haven Marina and Boat Park. You can access the Biosecurity Plan here.

Can I spot INNS?

You may well be able to spot some Invasive Species whilst out and about on the beach or snorkelling. There are some handy identification sheets available here.

Slipper limpet shells are easy to spot washed up on the beaches and you may be able to spot pacific oysters in the intertidal zone around the estuary.

Other species are sometimes hard to spot and can be very similar to native species.

What impacts are INNS having locally?

Some INNS such as slipper limpets and pacific oysters are causing significant impacts to key underwater habitats by actively competing with native species. Slipper limits have been identified as causing issues to maerl as they increase sediment in the water column making it difficult for maerl to photosynthesise.

These newcomers can also impact on our enjoyment of the water by blocking inlet valves and creating sharp surfaces in previous soft sea beds (pacific oysters creating reefs in soft sediments).

What you can do.

There are ways you can reduce the chances of spreading INNS. This guidance is particularly relevant if you are able to bring your vessel out of the water. For more information, please click here.