Original Research

Evaluating invasion risk for freshwater fishes in South Africa

Sean M. Marr, Bruce R. Ellender, Darragh J. Woodford, Mhairi E. Alexander, Ryan J. Wasserman, Philip Ivey, Tsungai Zengeya, Olaf L.F. Weyl
Bothalia | Vol 47, No 2 | a2177 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v47i2.2177 | © 2017 Sean M. Marr, Bruce R. Ellender, Darragh J. Woodford, Mhairi E. Alexander, Ryan J. Wasserman, Philip Ivey, Tsungai Zengeya, Olaf L.F. Weyl | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 September 2016 | Published: 31 March 2017

About the author(s)

Sean M. Marr, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), Grahamstown; Centre for Invasion Biology, SAIAB, Grahamstown, South Africa
Bruce R. Ellender, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), Grahamstown; Centre for Invasion Biology, SAIAB, Grahamstown, South Africa
Darragh J. Woodford, Centre for Invasion Biology, SAIAB, Grahamstown; School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Mhairi E. Alexander, Institute for Biomedical and Environmental Health Research (IBEHR), School of Science and Sport, University of the West of Scotland, United Kingdom; Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Ryan J. Wasserman, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), Grahamstown, South Africa
Philip Ivey, Invasive Species Programme, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Kirstenbosch Research Centre, Cape Town, South Africa
Tsungai Zengeya, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Kirstenbosch Research Centre, Cape Town, South Africa
Olaf L.F. Weyl, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), Grahamstown; Centre for Invasion Biology, SAIAB, Grahamstown, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: South Africa, as a signatory of the Convention on Biological Diversity, has an obligation to identify, prioritise and manage invasive species and their introduction pathways. However, this requires knowledge of the introduction pathways, factors influencing establishment success, invasive potential, current distributions and ecological impacts.
Objectives: To evaluate the Fish Invasiveness Screening Kit (FISK) to predict the invasion risk posed by fish species proposed for introduction into South Africa.
Method: FISK assessments were compiled for species whose invasion status in South Africa was known. A Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was conducted to calibrate the FISK for South Africa. The calibrated FISK was used to evaluate the risk that three species recently proposed for importation for aquaculture could become invasive in South Africa.
Results: A FISK score of 14 was identified as the threshold to delineate between species that could become invasive in South Africa and those that are unlikely to become invasive. Of the three species evaluated, Silurus glanis had a high risk of becoming invasive in South Africa, Lates calcarifer was likely to be invasive and Oncorhynchus tshawytscha was unlikely to be invasive in South Africa.
Conclusion: FISK was demonstrated to be a useful risk assessment tool to evaluate the invasion risk posed by species proposed for use in aquaculture. For the large number of fish imported for the pet trade, a rapid screening assessment to flag potentially high risk species was recommended prior to a full FISK assessment for flagged species.

Keywords

aquaculture; establishment; FISK; ornamental fish; risk assessment; sport fishes

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Bothalia  vol: 47  issue: 2  year: 2017  
doi: 10.4102/abc.v47i2.2147