New app for reporting invasive marine species in Sweden

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Monitoring Sweden's 2,700 km long coastline for unfamiliar species is no easy task. That's why scientists have created an app so the public can help out. (Anton Eriksson/Sveriges Radio P4 Väst)
Monitoring Sweden’s 2,700 km long coastline for unfamiliar species is no easy task. That’s why scientists have created an app so the public can help out. (Anton Eriksson/Sveriges Radio P4 Väst)
Marine biologists from the University of Gothenburg have created an app which lets anyone with a smartphone send in pictures if they think that they’ve discovered an exotic species.

“We’re particularly worried about two Asian crab species,” says Matz Berggren, a marine biologist at the University of Gothenburg. “They’re only about 4 centimetres wide, but multiply quickly and eat everything in their path,” he adds.

Monitoring Sweden’s 2,700 km long coastline for unfamiliar species, however, is no easy task, which is why The National Agency for Marine and Water Management, together with Värmland’s county council and researchers linked to the University of Gothenburg, have created an app which lets people send in pictures if they think they’ve discovered an exotic marine species in Sweden.

“We will look at every picture”

The app, called Rappen, a combination of the words report and app in Swedish, comes with a database of pictures and information on different marine species to help the general public identify their specimen before sending in the picture to the experts for review.

“We will look at every picture, determine the species and then notify the submitter, says Berggren, adding that he hopes that they will get lots of clear pictures to make their jobs easier”, says Berggren.

Anyone with a smartphone can use the app until the 30th of October, after that the project will be reviewed. And if it’s a success, Berggren hopes that they can add more features and translate the app into other languages.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Study shows polar bears relocating to icier Canadian Archipelago, Alaska Dispatch News

Finland: Five invasive species threatening Finland’s nature, Yle News

Sweden: Sharp-edged mussel invades southern Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Invasive plant found in Alaska floatplane lake, Alaska Dispatch News

 

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