Invasive species has become a tremendous problem in recent years, and there have been several attempts to manage this dilemma in various ways. One of the largest problems to solving this issue is the inconsistency of regulation throughout the United States and the world (Peters and Lodge 2009). Various states have implemented regulation of certain species with different levels of regulation. For example, the red swamp crayfish has spread widely to the Great Lakes region. There have also been indications of limited spread to New York, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. This is an important time for management of the red swamp crayfish. However, only Pennsylvania prohibits aquaculture of them. On the other hand, Illinois allows red swamp crayfish to be farmed even though they are only native to the southern part. This inconsistency is a prime example of the multiple weak link problem that allows invasive species to spread further because they can easily travel over state lines through connected water bodies. It will be necessary to establish more regional regulation. Furthermore, alien species management as a whole must learn to be proactive to alien species invasion instead of reactive. It is very difficult to eradicate a species from an area once it has infiltrated the area. Most current regulation is targeted to specific species, but research has shown that targeting specific economic vectors is more effective (Peters and Lodge 2009). I believe that all of these transformations will be vital to efficient management in the future.
Peters JA, DM Lodge. 2009. Invasive Species Policy at the Regional Level: A Multiple Weak Links Problem. Fisheries 34:373-381.