Alien species (synonyms: non-indigenous, exotic, non-native) are species, subspecies or lower taxa, which are found outside the areas of their natural dispersal potential. Their occurrence in the given region is due to intentional or unintentional introduction resulting from human activities.  EU member States have obligations and commitments under both the European and global frameworks in respect to non-indigenous species [Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD); EU Biodiversity Strategy]. These include prioritizing pathways for prevention, identifying the most harmful species for responses, enforcing effective early warning and rapid response mechanisms, developing indicators of trends and responses, and other management strategies (EU2014).

While multi-national networks on alien species exist in Europe such as NOBANIS (a gateway to information on alien and invasive species in north and central Europe); ESENIAS (East and South European Network for Invasive Alien Species); DAISIE (Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe), and EASIN (European Alien Species Information Network), a few countries have developed their own portals for covering alien species issues  (see links). Recognizing the need for national and international cooperation in research, scientific information exchanges and management of alien species in Greece, a network of experts was established in 2007: ELNAIS (the Ellenic Network on Aquatic Invasive Species) based at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR). Fourteen Research Institutes/Universities (see ELNAIS Sites Map) and more than 77 scientists (see experts details) are currently carrying out research related to aquatic (marine and freshwater) alien species in Greece.

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How to cite ELNAIS;
Zenetos, A., Arianoutsou, M., Bazos, I., Balopoulou, S., Corsini-Foka, M., Dimiza, M., … & Kytinou, E. (2015).
ELNAIS: A collaborative network on aquatic alien species in Hellas (Greece). Management of Biological Invasions6(2), 185-196.

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