14. LIFE BELOW WATER

Another invasive – spiny water flea – makes N.H. home – Granite Geek

Another invasive – spiny water flea – makes N.H. home – Granite Geek
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Another invasive – spiny water flea – makes N.H. home – Granite Geek  Concord Monitor

Another invasive – spiny water flea – makes N.H. home – Granite Geek

State Biologists Discover Spiny Water Flea, an Invasive Species in Lake Winnipesaukee

From New Hampshire Bulletin:

State biologists have discovered a new invasive aquatic species in New Hampshire – deep at the bottom of Lake Winnipesaukee.

The Spiny Water Flea and its Impact on Fish

The spiny water flea is a microscopic water animal that does not harm humans but can affect fish, according to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. It can “negatively impact aquatic food webs by changing the plankton community which can, in turn, influence fish populations,” the agency said in a press release.

“Some of our native fish species could be impacted by this,” said John Magee, the programs supervisor with the Inland Fisheries Division at the NH Fish and Game Department, in a statement. “At high densities, the spiny water flea can outcompete native zooplankton on which some of our native fish species rely.”

Discovery and Spread

Researchers found the animal, which is native to Europe and Asia, in “the Broads” in Gilford, the deepest section of Lake Winnipesaukee, according to the department. They also found a presence in the Alton and Wolfeboro portions of the lake.

Challenges in Elimination and Prevention

Spiny water fleas are difficult to eliminate once established and there are no treatments, according to the department.

Instead, state biologists are urging residents to clean, drain, and dry all water vessels after leaving a body of water to prevent their spread, a practice already required in state law. The department recommends drying out anything that has come in contact with water for five days.

Anticipating the Arrival

For researchers, the arrival of the spiny water flea was an inevitability. State biologists had expected the animal to arrive and had been watching for it for nearly a decade.

“Invasive species are very good at spreading to new locations,” said Kirsten Hugger, an aquatic ecologist with the department. “We anticipated there was potential for introduction to Lake Winnipesaukee due to boater traffic, which is why we initiated a monitoring program in 2016. However, it is still surprising and disappointing to have confirmed that the spiny water flea is in New Hampshire.”

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Analysis

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

  • SDG 14: Life Below Water – The article discusses the discovery of an invasive aquatic species, the spiny water flea, in Lake Winnipesaukee. This relates to the goal of conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas, and marine resources.
  • SDG 15: Life on Land – The presence of the spiny water flea can negatively impact fish populations and change the plankton community, which affects the overall ecosystem. This connects to the goal of protecting, restoring, and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems.

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

  • SDG 14.4: By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible – The presence of the spiny water flea can potentially impact fish populations, highlighting the need for effective regulation and management of aquatic ecosystems.
  • SDG 15.8: By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species – The discovery of the invasive spiny water flea emphasizes the importance of preventing the introduction and controlling the spread of invasive species to protect terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

  • Indicator for SDG 14.4: Proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels – Monitoring the impact of the spiny water flea on fish populations and assessing the proportion of fish stocks that remain within sustainable levels can indicate progress towards this target.
  • Indicator for SDG 15.8: Number of introduced and invasive alien species per unit area – Tracking the number of invasive species, such as the spiny water flea, in specific areas can provide an indicator of progress in preventing their introduction and controlling their impact.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Table

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 14: Life Below Water 14.4: By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible Proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels
SDG 15: Life on Land 15.8: By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species Number of introduced and invasive alien species per unit area

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Source: granitegeek.concordmonitor.com

 

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