Non-Indigenous Species

Marine Biological Laboratory
Policy No. J.1.9

Marine Resources

Initiated by:Manager, Marine Resources
Approved by:MBL Director/CEO
Date:December 10, 2004
Distribution:MBL Policy Book and MR users

1.0Policy Statement
The passage of the Non-Indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-646) followed by a Presidential Executive Order (13112) to establish a National Invasive Species Council, established an institutional infrastructure and programs to prevent unintentional introductions of non-indigenous and potentially invasive species. The Marine Biological Laboratory recognizes its role to implement policies that support these laws and thus the following policy will apply to use of all non-indigenous species.

2.0Indigenous vs non-indigenous
Non-indigenous species include invertebrate and vertebrate animals, and plants whose natural boundaries do not include the Cape Cod area. Investigators who wish to use non-indigenous (exotic) species must make a written request to the Marine Resources Manager for approval prior to species arrival at MBL. Requests for information on non-indigenous species are to be directed to the Marine Resources Manager or Supervisor of the Aquatic Resources Division. You may be asked to develop and submit a written Non-Indigenous Aquatic Organism Risk Analysis Protocol or a Species Specific Containment Protocol that assures that containment measures will prevent the unintentional release of these species into local waters. Review and approval by the MRC Management Team is necessary before permission to work on these animals will be granted.

3.0Transport of live species by individual investigators
The Marine Resources Manager must be notified in writing and approval must be granted in writing prior to the transport of any non-vertebrate aquatic organism or plant to any MBL facility by individual investigators, students or course personnel. If the animals are vertebrates, an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee protocol application that includes a species appropriate health evaluation must be submitted and approved before they can be brought to the MBL.

4.0Transporting media and packaging
All transport media (including water and packing material), and containers will be disposed of in such a way to prevent the introduction of all non-indigenous (exotic) species including epibiotic organisms and potential pathogens into the local environment. Disposal protocols may include chemical treatment (i.e., hyperchlorate, acids, bases), or extreme heat (autoclaving).

5.0 Procurement of disease-free animals
Any newly acquired animals can introduce known or unknown exotic diseases into established colonies. Warm-blooded animals may only be ordered from approved sources of VAF or SPF animals. Delivery of animals from a non-VAF/SPF certified, non-commercial institution or source must be preceded by a health certificate or health assurance statement, as appropriate. Please contact the MBL Veterinarian for individual species requirements. Investigators who wish to purchase aquatic animals from outside vendors must first obtain written permission from the Marine Resources Manager and then deal with reliable providers through the MBL purchasing department (per MBL Policy J.1.6). Advice may be sought from the Purchasing Department, the MBL Veterinarian or the MR’s Aquatic Resources Department.

6.0Policy Clarification and Updates:
Policy clarification and updates are available from the Marine Resources Office.