This page presents an overview of awareness needs associated with the INNS and biosecurity issues associated with Scotland’s rivers and lochs. These needs have been identified from two principle souirces; the Defra Public Attitudes Survey undertaken as part of the preparation of the GB Awareness and Communication Strategy and the preliminary experiences from the RAFTS INNS and Biosecurity Programme implementation.
The Defra Public Attitudes Survey has shown that with the exception of certain interest groups, there is a limited awareness and understanding of the threats posed by invasive non-native species and the actions required for their prevention and control. Higher levels of awareness were found amongst industry, commerce, the diverse arms of the government and water user interest groups such as anglers and boat users. Encouragingly the research has also shown that:
- There is a great appetite for information on INNS.
- The public favoured control of INNS to protect economic interests, native biodiversity and especially human health, and
- Press releases on INNS by government agencies are well reported.
Given the findings of this report likely key messages of the GB Awareness Strategy to the general public could be:
- INNS are any non-native animal or plant that has the ability to spread causing damage to the environment, the economy, our health and the way we live.
- Invasive non-native species damage our environment, the economy, our heath and the way we live.
- We need your support to increase awareness and better understanding of INNS issues and impacts.
More specific sub-messages associated with the above could include:
- They threaten our native plants, animals and habitats.
- They cost the British economy between £2 and £6 billion pounds each year.
- They can threaten our health.
In addition to the above messages, the RAFTS Biosecurity Planning Process has identified a number of priority areas for stakeholder action:
|Stakeholder Group||Priority Area|
|Aquaculture Industry||Impact of INNS
Use of proper screens and other biosecurity measures
Dangers of importing from contaminated areas
The need for implementing controls on movement of stock and water
|Port Authorities||Need to avoid pumping out of non sterilised ballast water in harbour
Role of hull fouling in the introduction and spread of INNS
|Garden Centres||Promote existing codes of practice covering the security and disposal of INNS to all garden centres
Target gardeners to dispose plant material and/or soils in a responsible manner
|Local Aquarium and Pond Stockists||Promote existing codes of practice (e.g Pond Alert) to all pet shops and suppliers of ornamental fish
|Water User associations (canoeists, sailing clubs)||Promote awareness to clubs and participants of the dangers arising from INNS and what they can do to prevent their spread (e.g FACT campaign and web site)|
|Landowners||Promote knowledge of INNS andbiosecurity issues amongst all tenants and resource-users.|
|Angling clubs||Promote knowledge of biosecurity issues and porevention measures amongst all members and visiting anglers
Promote the distribution of information and erection of signage in fishing huts and recognised car parks
|General Public||Promote awareness of impacts and measures to prevent/control INNS
|Schools||Promote awareness of impacts and measures to prevent/control INNS|