Action is being taken to sort out the growing problem of invasive species that are threatening native wildlife in the Solway. A species of shelfish called the Pacific Oyster has been found in several locations. It is intensively farmed along the coast of Scotland and is thought to have escaped.
There is also damaging non-native plants including wireweed and cordgrass.New legislation has come into effect this year which gives authorities on both sides of the Solway the power to prosecute fishermen or anyone else who does not comply with strict bio-security rules.
At a conference held by The Solway Firth Partnership, bio-diversity expert Sarah Brown from the Firth of Cylde Forum said that climate change and invasive species were the two major threats to Scotland's native marine environment.
On top of new legislation, the Solway's new Coastal Ranger Nic Coombey is asking landowners to look out for the Pacific Oyster and any examples will be noted and destroyed. The Pacific Oyster is larger than native varieties and the risk is that they could desimate local beds.
The confrence at Easterbrook Hall in Dumfries also heard from the chairman of the Solway Firth Partnership, Gordan Mann. The partnership has responsibility for both the English and Scottish sides of the Solway.
Mr Mann said the biggest challenge for businesses operating around the Solway was to co-ordinate and co-operate more in the future.
Planning law is different on both sides of the border so it is vital that organisations with an interest in the Solway maintain open communication, he added.
Anglers are being warned to kill any crayfish they come into contact with. It comes after the non-native American Signal Crayfish was found for the first time in the River Nith in Dumfries.
The invasive species kills young fish and destroys natural habitats. Fishermen are now being asked to kill the crayfish if found and to take extra care when cleaning their fishing equipment and clothing to prevent eggs being spread.
A local fisherman has raised concerns about the future of sea life in the Solway firth after he claims he caught the first American Signal crayfish to be found in saltwater in Britain.
Roy Kerr, from Kingholm Quay in Dumfries, said the species has already wiped out most of the fish in nearby Loch Ken.
The Nith Catchment Fishery Trust say that the presence of crayfish would be detrimental to the health of the Nith catchment as they cause bank instability from the act of burrowing, increasing the erosion of the river banks and sediment input to the river.