The Introduction of Non-Native Species to Marine Environs: An Unintended and Hidden Consequence of International Shipping

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Journal of Transportation Management


One unintended byproduct of the increase in global trade and the phenomenon generally known as "globalization" has been the introduction of non-native species (NNS) to new environs (Ruiz and Carlton, 2003). Since a great proportion of cargo destined for foreign markets is transported by ship, the international shipping trade has become a powerful vector for spreading NNS. As biologists continue to monitor this expanding threat to marine, coastal, and freshwater ecosystems, companies are also beginning to acknowledge responsibilities related to the "greening'' of the supply chain, including concern for the introduction of NNS. This article provides an overview of the role international shipping plays in the spread of NNS, describes damage inflicted by ship-borne NNS, describes regulatory responses to the problem, then offers strategies for addressing the issue at the supply chain level.

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