Invasive species

One of the stressors for the Baltic Sea is the several new species that in recent decades have invaded different environments.

One of these invasive species is the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus). This small (10–25 cm adult length) fish was first observed some 10 years ago, but has since then spread rapidly and established large populations along the shallow waters and by the coastal areas of the southern Baltic Sea up to the Stockholm archipelago. The species is native to the Black and Caspian seas but has most likely travelled with ballast water to the Baltic Sea. It tolerates both salt and fresh water conditions and feeds on mussels and roe of other fish, which could potentially have severe impact on the already sensitive ecosystems.

In our project we investigate dispersal, characteristics and behaviours of the round goby in the area surrounding the Bay of Hanöbukten. We make use of new molecular techniques such as environmental DNA, also known as eDNA, to identify species in the water. The project will contribute to new scientific knowledge, which could contribute to active measures that strive to improve the environment in the Bay of Hanöbukten.