New alien species with Atlantic origins recorded for the first time in the Mediterranean

New alien species, native to the western Atlantic, captured by a professional fisherman in Isthmia, Argosaronic Gulf. A friend of the fisher contacted the Is it Alien to you…. Share it!!! team. The individual identified as Chaetodipterus faber (Atlantic spadefish) and the specimen sent to iSea for further study. Today the scientific publication published, which confirms the first record of the species in the Mediterranean and thus in the Greek waters.

Given the absence Atlantic spadefish records across the Atlantic countries near the Strait of Gibraltar, but also in the Western and Central Mediterranean, we suspect the specimen was released or escaped from an aquarium, as the species is popular in the ornamental fish industry. In fact, we have recently received additional recordings of the species from nearby areas, indicating that more individuals of the species may have been released in the area.

The last years, there is an increase in the number of reported alien species that are suspected to be introduced by an aquarium release. Such a trend must recall the attention of national authorities and relevant stakeholders for advancing their efforts for the implementation of the Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 “on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species” that applies to all EU countries.

Find the full publication here.