Ecosystem overviews

Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast

Non-indigenous species
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​This region has 217 non-indigenous and cryptogenic (obscure or of unknown origin) species. The majority (55 species) arrived between 1950 and 1999. Since 2000, a total of 25 new species have been recorded of which 12 are new to Europe. Consequently, the annual rate of discovery of non-indigenous species increased from 1.1 per year during 1950–2014, to 1.7 per year during 2000–2014.

Shipping, in particular through ballast water and biofouling of hulls, as well as coastal water currents (secondary spread from neighbouring areas) are the main species introduction vectors, followed by aquaculture activities (predominantly by shellfish transfers).

Ecological impacts such as declines of native species and structural changes in the benthic communities have been observed. Other impacts include fouling of irrigation systems and clogging of fishing nets and aquaculture nets.
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​Annual rate of new non-indigenous and cryptogenic species discoveries in the Bay of Biscay and Iberian Coast ecoregion during 1950–1999 and 2000–2014. Click image to enlarge.

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Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast

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