Fighting invasive alien species through gastronomy?

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Invasive alien species (IAS) are considered one of the main causes of biodiversity loss globally, with an estimated cost of at least 12 billion euro per year to the EU Member states. To support, control measures and reducing IAS impact, it is often suggested to promote the consumption, of those which are edible.

Several efforts were devoted to promoting the consumption of IAS also within EU, like the Japanese knotweed or the Lionfish. However, experts' opinion varies with some being very positive and others very sceptical, stating that gastronomy is not a silver bullet for controlling IAS, suggesting some possible drawbacks. In some cases, this approach was applied successfully like for the Lionfish and the Tiger prawn in the Gulf of Mexico, but in the case of fast reproducing species, like the Asian carp, does not make a dent in the population.

The EU Regulation on IAS does not include any obligation to cull animals and it is up to the Member States to adopt appropriate measures. Prevention of introduction of IAS into non invaded areas is the best course of action, and will ensure that unnecessary suffering of animals is avoided.

Picture credits: @Clem Onojeghuo

Useful links

EU Regulation 1143/2014 on Invasive Alien Species

Invasivores
Eat The Invaders

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