Trade pathways for invasive species introductions

cooked and served crayfish

Invasive species cause recreational, economic and ecological damage—changing how residents and visitors use and enjoy Minnesota waters. Global trade drives invasive species introductions to Minnesota and the United States. In particular, there are trades built on the movement and possession of live plants and animals, which have historically led to invasive species introductions.

The horticulture, pet, food, bait, and classroom and laboratory biological supply trades are some of the known pathways for invasive species. For example, the rusty crayfish was introduced to the Great Lakes region through use and release as fishing bait. Purple loosestrife was introduced for ornamental horticulture. The common carp escaped into natural waters after being brought to the southern United States as a food source. About 2/3 of Minnesota prohibited invasive species, those that are illegal to possess and sell, have been documented in the trades listed above (42 species). Additionally, 3/4 of Minnesota regulated invasive species have been documented in these trades (15 species).

Many of the prohibited invasive species are not yet present in Minnesota waters. The trades listed above are important to Minnesota’s economy and provide recreational, cultural and educational benefits. Therefore, buyers and businesses alike can take action to protect Minnesota from new introductions of invasive species.

What You Can Do…

As a buyer

  • Do not release non-native animals and plants into the environment.
  • Only purchase animals and plants that present no or low environmental risks.
  • Visit our responsible buyers page for more information.

As a seller

Report prohibited invasive species in trade

If you think you have found a prohibited invasive species in trade in Minnesota, contact:
Chelsey Blanke, Aquatic Invasive Species Pathways and Plans Analyst, ([email protected]), 651-259-5350

Related Links


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