Organisms are transported all over the world for various reasons, and most of the time, it’s no big deal. But a large and growing number of species are getting out of control. All over the world, animals and plants have begun invading: damaging ecosystems, outcompeting native species and spreading disease. What’s the solution? Culls? Chemicals? Well, how about eating them? That’s what eat the invaders and invasivore think. It’s a great suggestion, but before you start googling recipes for asian carp, a word of caution:
Hunting in the UK requires a licence and permission from the land owner. Otherwise you’re poaching which is illegal. To be done humanely, you need to know what you’re doing, and a gun licence isn’t exactly easy to get.
Fishing requires a licence, permission from the Environment Agency, and permission from the land owner. The government has a handy guide if you fancy catching some signal crayfish, but some conservationists say that this makes things worse– as the fat juicy ones tend to keep populations down by eating the smaller ones.
It’s a bit easier if you stick to eating invasive plants. Japanese knotweed shoots are great in a pie, apparently. And you could always try some wild fennel. Take care though- keep anything you collect well sealed, to avoid spreading it to other areas, and DESTROY anything you don’t eat. Even the tiniest piece of knotweed rhizome can grow into a monster after years of playing dead. And NEVER compost it or throw it in the bin.
Image: By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons