Inventory of costal and marine Alien Species

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The Project

Invasive alien species (IAS) are considered to be one of the major threats to native biodiversity, including fishery, agriculture and human health services. Its impacts are generally defined as natural, human, and economic. Since the IAS has tremendous impact on environment, economy, and human health, monitoring to control and prevent is crucial in the native waters. Marine Invasive Species (MIS) are recognised as one of four major threats to aquatic and coastal habitats along with terrestrial sources of marine pollution, overexploitation of living marine resources and habitat destruction.


The aim of the study was to prepare an inventory of the recorded alien, invasive and invasive alien species in the Indian coastal and marine waters, identifying target locations for monitoring and early detection of IAS, and to build awareness among stakeholders


  • To prepare an inventory of the alien, invasive and invasive alien species reported for Indian coastal and marine waters

  • Monitoring target locations (harbours, ship dry-dock etc.) and early detection of IAS

  • Awareness creation among stakeholders

Key Findings

  • The current study included an inventory of 81 invasive alien species (IAS) and native species with invasive potential.

  • Exotic or alien species with invasive behavior in Indian coastal and marine habitats account for 22% (18 species) of the 81 species inventoried.

  • Animal taxa accounts for 56% (10 species) and plant taxa accounting for 44% (eight species).

  • The bulk of the species inventoried (68 %, 55 species out of the 81 species inventoried) are native to the Indian marine environment, however they are potentially invasive and could spread or invade the local habitat.

  • Parasitic plants such as Cuscuta sp. and Cassytha filiformis invasion over sand dune flora along the Indian coasts, native algae such as Caulerpa spp., Lithophyllum sp., Halimeda spp., Turbinaria spp., and Padina spp. invasion in coral reefs of Gulf of Mannar, native soft coral Carijoa riisei invasion in Grande Island of Goa and starfish Acanthester planci invasion in Andaman and Nicobar are established as potential invasive species in Indian coastal waters.

  • The ideal areas for identifying and early detection of coastal and marine IAS are small and large ports along India’s coast. As a result, the 12 major and 200 minor ports in Indian coastal waters may be continuously monitored for early detection of invasive species.

Alien species Cuscuta parasitic on beach morning glory Ipomoea pes-caprae