Marine Invasives

Marine invasive species are recognized globally as a major threat to marine ecosystems, and locally are responsible for millions of dollars worth of damage to vital and important Hawaiian coral reefs as a result of diminished fisheries and lowered property values.  These biological invasions dramatically affect reef ecosystems, causing a complete change in biodiversity and a shift from coral to algal dominated reefs.  Human-caused changes to natural reef communities, such as overfishing, increased nutrients, sediments and pollution, make them more vulnerable to invasive species.  Hawaiian reefs have experienced considerable damage from both introduced and native algal and invertebrate invasive species.