Introduced alien signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) in Finland - uncontrollable expansion despite numerous crayfisheries strategies
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ViittausRuokonen, Timo J. Sjövik, Rosanna. Erkamo, Esa. Tulonen, Jouni. Ercoli, Fabio. Kokko, Harri. Jussila, Japo. (2018). Introduced alien signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) in Finland - uncontrollable expansion despite numerous crayfisheries strategies. Knowledge and Management of Aquatic Ecosystems, (419) , 27. 10.1051/kmae/2018016.
In Finland, massive signal crayfish introductions started towards the end of 1980s, with an estimated total of 2.2 million signal crayfish been stocked before year 2016. During that period, Finnish fisheries authorities have implemented three national management strategies setting guidelines for the crayfish introductions. The main aims of the strategies have been conservation of native noble crayfish stocks and a controlled spreading of the alien signal crayfish within a designated region. In this study, we report the current distribution of signal crayfish in Finland in comparison to the guidelines set in these three national strategies. The present distribution area of the signal crayfish covers most of the Southern Finland. The signal crayfish has been introduced with a stocking permits to over 480 water bodies. In addition, there have been numerous stockings without permits, which are often next to the region designated for the signal crayfish. Based on the results, we conclude that crayfish management strategies adopted in Finland have only had limited effect on the spread of signal crayfish. We presume that main causes for the uncontrolled spreading of the signal crayfish in Finland have been lack of strict official supervision and general lack of awareness about the risks associated with the alien species spreading.