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UNEP/MAP, Marine pollution indicators Fact sheets, 2004
Uploaded on Tuesday 19 Nov 2013
Non-indigenous species over the 20th Century
Both the number and rate of non-indigenous introductions to
the Mediterranean have been increasing in recent years (UNEP/
MAP 2009). Currently, about a thousand non-indigenous aquatic
species have been identified in the Mediterranean Sea, with a
new species being introduced roughly every ten days. About 500
of these species are well-established; many others are one-off
observations (UNEP/MAP 2012). In addition, there are also terrestrial non-indigenous species that have been introduced into
the coastal zone of the Mediterranean but these species have so
far not been systematically monitored.
Benthic, or seabed-living, animals are the most plentiful non-indigenous species in the Mediterranean. Most are molluscs, crustaceans, or sea worms (UNEP/MAP 2009). More non-indigenous
species are found in the Eastern Mediterranean than in the Western Mediterranean.