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Aquatic Invasive Species in Alaska

Invasive species can alter ecosystems; displace, compete and prey on native species; foul infrastructure; sicken humans by causing diseases.

Invasive green crab carapace Invasive green crab carapace and carcass discovered on Annette Island in July, 2022 - Credit, Linda Shaw, NOAA Fisheries.

Alaska's fisheries and marine mammals, and the habitats that support them, are at risk of degradation from the spread of invasive species.

Invasive species can:

  • Alter ecosystems.
  • Displace, compete and prey on native species.
  • Foul infrastructure.
  • Sicken humans by causing diseases.

Invasive species can be discharged from ship's ballast water and organisms attached to the hull of ships. Increases in shipping and vessel-based tourism—along with climate change due to a warming Arctic—mean that infestations are becoming more probable. In Alaska, NOAA Fisheries works with other federal agencies, the State of Alaska, academic institutions, and local communities to educate, monitor, detect invasive species. If necessary, we work to control or eradicate invasive species that may pose a threat to marine life under NOAA Fisheries jurisdiction. 

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Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on July 11, 2023

Invasive Species