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Campaign launched to protect the Broads from 'destructive' invasive species

Species like killer shrimps (right) are a threat to plants and animals. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A campaign is being launched to help protect the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads from 'destructive' invasive species such as killer shrimp, quagga mussels and Japanese knotweed.

The species are a threat to native plants and animals and can block up our waterways.

It's believed that they cost the UK economy at least £1.8 billion a year and the Government are desperate to stop their spread.

Biosecurity minister Lord Gardiner will encourage young sailors at Oulton Broad near Lowestoft to check and clean their equipment during a visit on Friday (March 31) in a bid to get the message through to the next generation.

The minister will visit Oulton Broad in Suffolk. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Watersports enthusiasts play a key role in our battle against these threats, so it is great to see Norfolk and Suffolk sailors promoting how important it is to check, clean and dry clothing and equipment.

Simple steps such as hosing down your boat and thoroughly drying your boots help to protect the future of our native species in an environment we want to enhance.

– Lord Gardiner, Biosecurity Minister

How can you help stop the spread?

  • Make sure you are aware of some of the priority non-native species.
  • Where possible posters and signage should be put in place to make people aware of the risk, and provide advice on how to prevent spread.
  • Ideally, access and egress to the water body should be limited, preferably to a single point.
  • Any site may have invasive non-native species and diseases that can be spread by contaminated clothes and equipment, so good biosecurity is always important. Remember: everyone, every time, everywhere.
  • If you are visiting a site where an invasive non-native species is known to be present, you must ensure you don't spread it. Failure to do so risks prosecution under the Wildlife & Countryside Act, 1981.
  • Risk can be reduced by reducing the contact time in which equipment is exposed to the water.
  • Anything that comes in contact with the water, including boots, could accidentally spread non-native species and should be carefully cleaned.