Homberger L, Xu J, Brandis D, Chan T-Y, Keirsebelik H, Normant-Saremba M, Schoelynck J, Chu KH, Ewers-Saucedo C (2022)

Cryptic biological invasions are largely unrecognised, leading to an underestimation of the number of invading taxa and their potential impacts. The Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis, is a highly invasive species with serious economic and ecological impacts in Europe. Recently, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the Japanese mitten crab, E. japonica, has been discovered in populations from The Netherlands, Poland and Germany, but the taxonomic status and time of introduction of specimens carrying this mtDNA are uncertain. To this end, we investigated the morphology and variation of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene of mitten crabs collected in central-western Europe between 1998 and 2020. Mitten crabs from Belgium harboured a Japanese mitten crab COI haplotype in 33% to 65% of individuals, even in our earliest samples from 1998. All other studied populations carried only Chinese mitten crab COI haplotypes. Morphologically, many of the juvenile Belgian mitten crabs showed intermediate traits between the two species, while all investigated adult mitten crabs, regardless of their mitochondrial haplotype or country of origin, were morphologically assigned to E. sinensis. This intermediate morphology of the juveniles and genetic-morphological discrepancy of adults suggests that Japanese mitten crabs introgressed with Chinese mitten crabs, which could have happened both before and after the introduction of mitten crabs to Europe. A specific Chinese mitten crab COI haplotype, found in Belgium, was previously only known from Vladivostok (Russia), where Chinese and Japanese mitten crab hybrids naturally occur. This Far East region is, therefore, a plausible source for at least part of the mitten crab mitochondrial diversity in Belgium.

Link: https://neobiota.pensoft.net/article/72566/

Emilia Luoma, Mirka Laurila-Pant, Elias Altarriba, Lauri Nevalainen, Inari Helle, Lena Granhag, Maiju Lehtiniemi, Greta Srėbalienė, Sergej Olenin, Annukka Lehikoinen (2022)

Biofouling of ship hulls form a vector for the introduction of non-indigenous organisms worldwide. Through increasing friction, the organisms attached to ships' hulls increase the fuel consumption, leading to both higher fuel costs and air emissions. At the same time, ship biofouling management causes both ecological risks and monetary costs. All these aspects should be considered case-specifically in the search of sustainable management strategies. Applying Bayesian networks, we developed a multi-criteria decision analysis model to compare biofouling management strategies in the Baltic Sea, given the characteristics of a ship, its operating profile and operational environment, considering the comprehensive environmental impact and the monetary costs. The model is demonstrated for three scenarios (SC1-3) and sub-scenarios (A-C), comparing the alternative biofouling management strategies in relation to NIS (non-indigenous species) introduction risk, eco-toxicological risk due to biocidal coating, carbon dioxide emissions and costs related to fuel consumption, in-water cleaning and hull coating. The scenarios demonstrate that by the careful consideration of the hull fouling management strategy, both money and environment can be saved.

We suggest biocidal-free coating with a regular in-water cleaning using a capture system is generally the lowest-risk option. The best biocidal-free coating type and the optimal in-water cleaning interval should be evaluated case-specifically, though. In some cases, however, biocidal coating remains a justifiable option.

Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969722054158#ac0005

Okko Outinen, Riikka Puntila-Dodd, Ieva Barda, Radosław Brzana, Joanna Hegele-Drywa, Monta Kalnina, Mara Kostanda, Atte Lindqvist, Monika Normant-Saremba, Michalina Ścibik, Solvita Strake, Jutta Vuolamo & Maiju Lehtiniemi 2021

The study included the sampling of 12 marinas across six areas of the Baltic Sea with settlement plates and scraping of submerged structures to assess the role of marinas in the spread of non-indigenous species (NIS) via biofouling. 15 NIS were detected in the marinas and secondary spread of previously introduced NIS was detected in five out of six sea areas. Salinity and sea area significantly affected the composition of the fouling assemblages. Settlement plates appeared as the more efficient sampling method over scraping, while the seasonal analyses revealed that the monitoring effort should span over the summer and early autumn in the south-eastern, central, and northern Baltic Sea. The present findings indicate that marinas contribute to the spread of non-indigenous fouling organisms, and there is an increasing demand for the monitoring of marinas and stricter regulations regarding the biofouling management of leisure boats in the Baltic Sea.

Biofouling, DOI: 10.1080/08927014.2021.1996564. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08927014.2021.1996564

Emilia Luoma, Mirka Laurila-Pant, Elias Altarriba, Inari Helle, Lena Granhag, Maiju Lehtiniemi, Greta Srėbalienė, Sergej Olenin, Annukka Lehikoinen

Biofouling of ships causes major environmental and economic consequences all over the world. In addition, biofouling management of ship hulls causes both social, environmental and economic risks that should all be considered reaching well-balanced decisions. In addition, each case is unique and thus optimal management strategy must be considered case-specifically. We produced a novel decision support tool using Bayesian networks to promote the comprehensive understanding about the complex biofouling management issue in the Baltic Sea and to identify potential management options and their consequences. The tool compares the biofouling management strategies in relation to NIS (non-indigenous species) introduction risk, eco-toxicological risk due to biocidal coating, carbon dioxide emissions resulting from fuel consumption and costs related to fuel consumption, in-water cleaning and coating. According to the results, the optimal biofouling management strategy would consist of a biocidal-free coating with regular in-water cleaning and with devices collecting the material. However, the best biocidal-free coating type and the optimal in-water cleaning interval varies and depends e.g. on the operational profile of the ship. The decision support tool can increase the multi-perspective understanding about the issue and support the implementation of the optimal biofouling management strategies in the Baltic Sea.

Link: https://arxiv.org/abs/2107.06810

Oliveira, D. R., Granhag, L. 2020.

Today, ship hull fouling is managed through fouling-control coatings, complemented with in-water cleaning. During cleaning, coating damage and wear must be avoided, for maximum coating lifetime and reduced antifoulant release. When possible, cleaning should target early stages of fouling, using minimal forces. However, such forces, and their effects on coatings, have not yet been fully quantified. In this one-year study, minimal cleaning forces were determined using a newly-designed immersed waterjet. The results show that bi-monthly/monthly cleaning, with maximum wall shear stress up to ∼1.3 kPa and jet stagnation pressure ∼0.17 MPa, did not appear to cause damage or wear on either the biocidal antifouling (AF) or the biocide-free foul-release (FR) coatings. The AF coating required bi-monthly cleanings to keep fouling to incipient slime (time-averaged results), while the FR coating had a similar fouling level even without cleaning. The reported forces may be used in matching cleaning parameters to the adhesion strength of the early stages of fouling.

Publication: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08927014.2020.1762079

Maiju Lehtiniemi, Okko Outinen, Riikka Puntila-Dodd https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479720305405

Read more: Citizen science provides added value in the monitoring for coastal non-indigenous species

Tsiamis K, Azzurro E, Bariche M, Çinar ME, Crocetta F, De Clerck O, Galil B, Gómez, F, Hoffman R, Jensen KR, Kamburska L, Langeneck J, Langer MR, Levitt-Barmats Y, Lezzi M, Marchini A, Occhipinti-Ambrogi A, Ojaveer H, Piraino S, Shenkar N, Yankova M, Zenetos A, Žuljevic A, Cardoso AC 2020. 

Prioritizing marine invasive alien species in the European Union through horizon scanning.

Aquatic Conserv: Mar Freshw Ecosyst. 2020; 1–52. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3267

Read more: Prioritizing marine invasive alien species in the European Union through horizon scanning

Solovjova S, Samuilovienė A, Srėbalienė G, Minchin D, Olenin S. 2019.
Oceanologia 61: 341-349. [Publication]
The gulf wedge clam, common rangia Rangia cuneata, with a native origin in the Gulf of Mexico has spread to north European brackish and freshwaters. This semitropical species is able to survive in conditions of low winter temperatures in boreal environment of the Baltic Sea. Its expansion within lagoons and sheltered bays in the southern and eastern parts of the Baltic Sea appears to be with natural spread and its discontinuous distribution is likely to have been with shipping, either within ballast water or as settled stages transported with dredged material. In this account, we report on the occurrence of R. cuneata in Lithuanian waters. We compare habitats of the common rangia in the Curonian Lagoon and in the exposed coastal waters of the Baltic Sea.
Gollasch S, David M, Broeg K, Heitmüller S, Karjalainen M, Lehtiniemi M, Normant-Saremba M, Ojaveer H, Olenin S, Ruiz M, Helavuori M, Sala-Pérez M, Strake S. 2019.
Ocean & Coastal Management 183: 1-7.  [Publication]
The Ballast Water Management Convention adopted at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) allows exemptions from ballast water management requirements. These exemptions may be granted when a risk assessment results in an acceptable low risk scenario. IMO has adopted a guideline describing different risk assessment approaches (G7 Guidelines, 2017). One approach is a species-specific risk assessment in which so called target species (TS) become important. TS are species that meet specific criteria indicating that they may impair or damage the environment, human health, property or resources and they are defined for a specific port, State or biogeographic region. The guidelines continue to describe general TS selection criteria, which include the species relationship with ballast water as a transport vector, their impact type and severeness, evidence of prior introduction(s), and its current distribution. However, the G7 Guidelines lack details how these criteria are to be defined.
Srėbalienė G, Olenin S, Minchin D, Narščius A. 2019. 
A comparison of impact and risk assessment methods based on the IMO Guidelines and EU invasive alien species risk assessment frameworks.
PeerJ 7:e6965 [Publication]
A comparative analysis of two risk assessment (RA) frameworks developed to support the implementation of the international Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) and European Regulation on Invasive Alien Species (IAS) was performed. This analysis revealed both differences and similarities between the IMO Risk Assessment Guidelines (IMO, 2007) and EU Regulation supplement on RA of IAS (EU, 2018) in RA approaches, key principles, RA components and categories of IAS impacts recommended for assessment.

Oliveira, D. R., Larsson, L. & Granhag, L. 2019.
Towards an absolute scale for adhesion strength of ship hull microfouling. Biofouling, DOI: 10.1080/08927014.2019.1595602


Minchin D, Arbačiauskas K, Daunys D, Ezhova E, Grudule N, Kotta J, Molchanova N, Olenin S, Višinskienė G, Strake S (2019)

Rapid expansion and facilitating factors of the Ponto-Caspian invader Dikerogammarus villosus within the eastern Baltic Sea. Aquatic Invasions 14(2): 165–181 


Liversage, K., Kotta, J., Aps, R., Fetissov, M., Nurkse, K., Orav-Kotta, H., Rätsep, M., Forsström, T., Fowler, A., Lehtiniemi, M., Normant-Saremba, M., Puntila-Dodd, R., Arula, T., Hubel, K. & Ojaveer, H. 2019.

Knowledge to decision in dynamic seas: Methods to incorporate non-indigenous species into cumulative impact assessments for maritime spatial planning. Science of the Total Environment 658: 1452–1464.

Outinen, O., Forsström, T., Yli-Rosti, J., Vesakoski, O. & Lehtiniemi, M. 2019.

Monitoring of sessile and mobile epifauna – Considerations for non-indigenous species. Marine Pollution Bulletin 141: 332–342.


Brzana R., Marszewska L., Normant-Saremba M., Błażewicz M., 2019. 

Non-indigenous tanaid Sinelobus vanhaareni Bamber, 2014 in the Polish coastal waters – an example of successful invader. Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies 48: 76–84.

Konstantinos Tsiamis, Andreas Palialexis, Kremena Stefanova, Živana Ničević Gladan, Sanda Skejić, Marija Despalatović, Ivan Cvitković, Branko Dragičević, Jakov Dulčić, Olja Vidjak, Natalia Bojanić, Ante Žuljević, Marilena Aplikioti, Marina Argyrou, Marios Josephides, Nikolas Michailidis, Hans H.Jakobsen, Peter A.Staehr, Henn Ojaveer, Maiju Lehtiniemi, Cécile Massé, Argyro Zenetos, Luca Castriota, Silvia Livi, Cristina Mazziotti, Patrick J.Schembri, Julian Evans, Angela G.Bartolo, Saa Henry Kabuta, Sander Smolders, Edo Knegtering, Arjan Gittenberger Piotr Gruszka, Wojciech Kraśniewski, Cátia Bartilotti, Miriam Tuaty-Guerra, João Canning-Clode, Ana C.Costa, Manuela I.Parente, Andrea Z.Botelho, Joana Micael, Joana V.Miodonski, Gilberto P.Carreir, Vera Lopes, Paula Chainho, Carmen Barberá, Rahmat Naddafi, Ann-Britt Florin, Peter Barry, Paul D.Stebbing, Ana Cristina Cardoso, 2019. 

Marine Pollution Bulletin 145: 429-435.

Non-indigenous species refined national baseline inventories: A synthesis in the context of the European Union's Marine Strategy Framework Directive