Growing global trade and environmental change accentuate the spread and intensity of marine biological invasions, rendering their management a priority. Fast management responses require the prioritization of actions based on their effectiveness, technical feasibility, social acceptance, impacts, and costs.

In this study expert knowledge was elicited to prioritize 11 management actions for controlling 12 model species, distinguished by differences in dispersion capacity, distribution in the area to be managed, and taxonomic identity. Each action was assessed using five criteria (effectiveness, feasibility, acceptability, impacts on native communities, and cost), which were combined in an “applicability” metric.

The results show that raising public awareness and encouraging the commercial use of invasive species were highly prioritized, whereas biological control actions were considered the least applicable.

The authors state that their findings can guide rapid decision-making on prioritizing management options for the control of invasive species especially at early stages of invasion, when reducing managers’ response time is critical. It is highlighted that this information could also guide decision-making in subsequent invasion stages, without requiring detailed species-specific information.

Giakoumi et al. (2019) Management priorities for marine invasive species. Science of the Total Environment 688:976-982.