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Research Document - 2010/114

A Canadian Rapid Response Framework for Aquatic Invasive Species

By A. Locke, N.E. Mandrak, and T.W. Therriault


Rapid response, the capacity to quickly respond to the detection of a suspected non-indigenous species and prevent or manage its establishment in a new location, is an integral component of “A Canadian Action Plan to Address the Threat of Aquatic Invasive Species” (Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers Aquatic Invasive Task Group, 2004), yet Canada currently lacks a formal rapid response procedure for non-indigenous aquatic species (freshwater or marine). Following a request from this Task Group to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the development of a Rapid Response Framework was undertaken. The purpose of this framework is to serve explicitly as a guide to rapid response plans for which DFO acts as the lead agency, but it is expected that this framework will have applicability to other agencies/departments. The present document builds on several earlier initiatives to design a rapid response planning protocol for aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Canada and presents an approach to the development of processes and plans to guide rapid response actions. The process consists of three major steps: Discovery, Risk Assessment, and Management Options, with simultaneous requirements to assess the need for Containment of the invader at each step as new information becomes available.

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