João Canning-Clode on Euronews' Ocean Calls podcast

João Canning-Clode, MARE researcher and chair of the ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) specialist group on invasive species, took part in the episode "Invasive Species: Danger or Untapped Potential" of the Ocean Calls podcast, organised by Euronews.

The new episode of the podcast gives listeners a better understanding of what an invasive species is, how they upset the balance of marine ecosystems, and what can be done about this challenge.

In European waters, around 2o non-indigenous species are discovered every year, and the Madeira archipelago is no exception: "We have a monitoring programme that began 10 years ago. We have identified 70 non-indigenous species in Madeira's waters," said João Canning-Clode, who in 2022 came across a worrying discovery, the brown alga Ruguloptery okamurae. According to the MARE researcher, this algae, due to its rapid proliferation, forms a large amount of biomass on the beaches, which affects the tourism sector, becoming a concern for the local government. Currently, the solution is to carry out clean-up actions.

João Canning-Clode also explained the difference between a non-indigenous and an invasive species: the distinction is made on the basis of the species' behaviour. While non-indigenous species only refer to organisms found in new places, invasive species already have harmful economic and ecological impacts. "In Madeira we have 70 non-indigenous species, but only a couple are considered a issue." explains the researcher. "Most of these non-indigenous species in our system aren't really a problem, but that doesn't matter. If you have one that causes massive problems, then it really is a issue"

What's the solution? For João Canning-Clode, it mainly involves prevention.


Hosted by Euronews reporter Jeremy Wilks, the Ocean Calls podcast discusses today's main issues in 30 minutes with experts in the scientific field of the oceans.



To listen to the podcast episode, click HERE