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European Non-native Species in Aquaculture Risk Analysis Scheme – a summary of assessment protocols and decision support tools for use of alien species in aquaculture



The European Non-native Species in Aquaculture Risk Analysis Scheme (ENSARS) was developed in response to European ‘Council Regulation No. 708/2007 of 11 June 2007 concerning use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture’ to provide protocols for identifying and evaluating the potential risks of using non-native species in aquaculture. ENSARS is modular in structure and adapted from non-native species risk assessment schemes developed by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation and for the UK. Seven of the eight ENSARS modules contain protocols for evaluating the risks of escape, introduction to and establishment in open waters, of any non-native aquatic organism being used (or associated with those used) in aquaculture, that is, transport pathways, rearing facilities, infectious agents, and the potential organism, ecosystem and socio-economic impacts. A concluding module is designed to summarise the risks and consider management options. During the assessments, each question requires the assessor to provide a response and confidence ranking for that response based on expert opinion. Each module can also be used individually, and each requires a specific form of expertise. Therefore, a multidisciplinary assessment team is recommended for its completion.