A Quick Guide to Marine Bioinvasions

If you fish, be sure not to release bait, fish, shellfish —or the materials in which they are stored or shipped— into new environments. Always empty your bait bucket on land and discard unused bait in trash.

Fisherman hooks a big oneIf you boat, be sure to remove any plants or animals from your boat, trailer and other equipment. Drain all the water from the motor, livewell, bilge and transom well away from the water. Wash your boat, tackle, trailer and other equipment with 104°F water, a high-pressure spray, or at the very least, with tap water. Then dry everything for at least five days to make sure that none of the exotics have survived.

Boats along the CharlesIf you have an aquarium, don't dump fish or plants into a waterway. Dispose of them in the trash.

Scientists can't map new range expansions or new discoveries until new finds are verified. If you see a plant or marine creature that looks like a new invader, you can help out by contacting the Sea Grant program in your state, the local natural history museum, a University field station or a local U.S. Fish & Wildlife Office. If you're concerned about ballast water invasions, contact your state and federal regulators and find out how they are addressing this problem.