Marine Invasives Data

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center's Marine Invasions Research Lab has several projects and datasets.

National Ballast Information Clearinghouse

The National Ballast Information Clearinghouse (NBIC) is a joint program of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) and the United States Coast Guard that collects, analyzes, and interprets data on the ballast water management practices of commercial ships that operate in the waters of the United States. Ballast water data are available for download from our online database.

Aquatic Invasions Research Directory

AIRD provides a resource:
  • To learn quickly about the extent and scope of topic-specific activities;
  • Research geographic locations of existing or past activities; and,
  • Provides contact information and available publications for each study.

    National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System (NEMESIS)

    NEMESIS is a resource for information on non-native (or exotic) species that occur in coastal marine waters of the United States.
    The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) has developed and maintains a national database of marine and estuarine invasions of the continental U.S. and Alaska. This relational database compiles detailed information on approximately 500 different non-native species of plants, fish, invertebrates, protists and algae that have invaded our coastal waters. The database identifies which species have been reported, their current population status (i.e., whether established or not), as well as when, where, and how they invaded; it also summarizes key information on the biology, ecology, and known impacts of each invader.
  • Marine Invasive Species

    Hundreds of marine species have been moved from their native ranges to non-native areas, primarily through shipping and stocking.  Ocean-going ships depend on ballast water for stabilization while crossing the open ocean.  This water (along with the organisms it contains) is taken on in one port and is discharged at the next port.  The organisms that survived transport are released into this new, often non-native, location.  If the receiving environment is similar enough to the donor region, these species may survive and proliferate, and sometimes become invasive.  In addition to ballast water, ships also transport organisms on their hulls.  Bio-fouling organisms can form colonies on the hulls of ships or in internal compartments and be released or spawn in non-native areas.

    The other vector for moving organisms in marine environments in stocking.  We often grow non-native species in aquaculture as food products.  Sometimes these species escape into the wild.  But often when we bring these species in for culture, they bring with them a whole suit of hitch hikers that we overlook. 

    The NBII Program is administered by the Biological Informatics Program of the U.S. Geological Survey
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