UK. How much do you know about invasive species?

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Broads Authority is running an online survey to find out if its campaign to curb the spread of new aquatic aliens is reaching water users.

The survey about nine invasive species in the Broads can be found on the Broads Authority’s home page,  under Quick Links. It takes just five minutes to complete and will help in future public campaigns.

The latest arrival to the Broads is the killer shrimp, Dikerogammarus villosus, which was discovered in Barton Broad in March this year and has since spread up the River Ant as far as Wayford Bridge and downstream into the Bure.

All users of the Broads are being asked to check their equipment and clothes for live organisms, wash them off and dry them out thoroughly to avoid spreading the shrimp to other waterways.

Will Burchnall was appointed to the new post of Wetlands Biosecurity Officer by the Broads Authority, co-funded by the Environment Agency, Natural England and Defra, to promote awareness of damaging invasive species.

He said: “Since the arrival of the killer shrimp I have worked closely with boating organisations, sailing and rowing clubs and anglers to raise awareness of the Check, Clean, Dry campaign. We would now like to know if the message has got through or if more work needs to be done.

“We are most concerned to protect water bodies isolated from the main Broads system, such as the Trinity and Whitlingham Broads, from invasion by these aliens as they could endanger the very delicate eco-system. If people could spare five minutes to fill in the survey it will help us to know how effective our campaign has been and where we go from here.”

For more information on the killer shrimp see the Broads Authority website under

Editors note:

Will’s message is for everyone using waterways to routinely check their equipment, such as boats, footwear, clothing, ropes, fishing tackle and nets that have been in contact with the water. They should wash the equipment, return any organisms to the water from which they came, and dry out the equipment for at least 48 hours as the shrimps can survive for several days in damp conditions.  The shrimps can also be killed by immersing clothing, ropes and nets in hot water (at least 40º C) for 15 minutes. Anglers are asked not to use keep nets as shrimps tend to gather in them—a practice that has been backed by Norwich and District Anglers Association in all waters they fish. 

The shrimp, which can grow to 3 cms, is larger than our native freshwater species and can be identified by its tiger stripes and horns on its tail.  It originates from the Black and Caspian Seas in Eastern Europe and has spread across most of Western Europe over the last ten years. It does not pose a threat to people or their pets.

For further information or images of invasive species contact: Hilary Franzen, Press Officer, on 01603 610734; mob: 07775 563030; email:

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 November 2012 )