web site on alien species in
Swedish seas and coastal areas

Why this site?

The site Främmande arter i svenska hav (Alien species in Swedish seas) is an attempt to bring together current knowledge about alien species in Swedish seas and coastal areas, including the Skagerrak/Kattegat and the Baltic Sea. It is aimed at anyone wanting to know more about aquatic invaders in the marine environment. That includes people who deal with alien species on a professional basis, those who encounter aquatic invaders in their private lives, and those who can influence the spread of alien species to sea areas.

An alien (non-indigenous, non-native, exotic) species is a plant, animal or microorganism which, with the help of humans, has been transported from and spread outside its natural distribution range. Introduction may be deliberate or accidental. Some of these new species — the invasive ones — cause problems in our seas, lakes and watercourses, as well as on land. Other introduced species do not seem to do any harm. It is impossible to predict what will happen when an alien species becomes established in a new environment — and this is a cause for considerable concern.

The issue of alien species could be described as simply as that, but the problem is of course much more complicated. To increase understanding of the alien species in our seas we need to explain how species are transported to new areas, which species have already arrived and become established, and what the consequences may be (or already are).

It is also important to provide advice on how to prevent the introduction and spread of alien species to Swedish seas and coastal areas. Knowledge is the first, fundamental step on the way to solving this problem.

Who has produced it?

The site, which was launched on 22 September 2005, is a joint information channel for the three regional Information Offices along the Swedish coast: the Skagerrak/Kattegat area on the west coast of Sweden, the Baltic Sea proper, and the Gulf of Bothnia.

Each Information Office is hosted by a County Administrative Board, which is a regional government authority. The primary aim of the Information Offices is to provide information on large-scale events in the marine environment. Such events include algal blooms, oil spills and mass mortalities of marine animals. The occurrence and regional effects of (invasive) alien species in Swedish seas are another important issue.

The work of the Information Offices is commissioned by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, which is a central government agency. The website has been produced in close collaboration with the Swedish AquAliens research programme, which ended in January 2008. The material published on the site, including the contents of the fact sheets, has been reviewed by marine scientists and by experts at the Information Offices.

If you would like to contact us, please go to the section "OM WEBBPLATSEN" and select "kontakta oss". There you will find contact information for the three Information Offices and the AquAliens programme.

What does it contain?

The site is divided into eleven sections. A choice of links to online sources of information (Swedish and international sites or documents) is available on most pages.

At present, most of the material on the site is available in Swedish only. However, a list of alien species already observed in Swedish seas and coastal areas and another list of alien species close to our borders are also available in English, as are brief fact sheets on more than 45 of the species on the lists.

To get an idea of the information provided on this site, please go to Brief description of website contents. There you will also find links to the material available in English.



List of alien species observed in Swedish sea areas:


Alert list of alien species close to Sweden’s borders: