Biological Invasions

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1241–1256 | Cite as

Public perspectives on genetic biocontrol technologies for controlling invasive fish

  • Leah M. SharpeEmail author
Original Article


Understanding people’s knowledge, attitudes, and concerns about genetic biocontrol can help researchers understand the challenges and opportunities that may be encountered during development of these technologies. This study conducted eight focus groups in the United States Great Lakes and Lake Champlain region to assess different stakeholders’ views about genetic biocontrol technology, factors affecting whether or not they support its use, and recommendations on how to proceed with its development. Stakeholders were excited about having a new invasive species control tool, but they were deeply concerned about potential unintended consequences. The primary concerns relate to ecological impacts, along with the cost of development and the possibility that such efforts will distract from other, ongoing control work. Participants made a number of recommendations to genetic biocontrol developers, including setting up regulatory systems, conducting independent cost benefit analyses and risk assessments, and engaging stakeholders throughout the development process.


Invasive species Genetic biocontrol Stakeholder engagement Genetic modification Aquatic invasive species 

Supplementary material

10530_2013_545_MOESM1_ESM.docx (175 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 174 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Conservation Biology Graduate ProgramUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

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