Economic impact of Rugulopteryx okamurae (Dictyotales, Ochrophyta) along the Andalusian coastline: the case of Tarifa, Spain

Autores: Mogollón, S. L.; Zilio, M. I.; Buitrago, E. M.; Caraballo, M. A.; Yñiguez, R.

Datos de publicación: Wetlands Ecology and Management, 2024 vol.32, nº 1, pp 19 – 32


Invasive alien species are the second cause of biodiversity loss worldwide and imply huge economic costs related to their impact on ecosystems, production systems, and human health. Quantifying these losses is a complex task, but it becomes essential to evaluate the problem and support measures to prevent and control biological invasions. In the last 6 years, Rugulopteryx okamurae has invaded a large part of the rocky bottoms of the coasts of the Strait of Gibraltar. Moreover, it has meant significant losses for the economic activities that take place along the Andalusian coast. Using a mixed-method approach, this work estimated the costs associated with the presence of Rugulopteryx okamurae in the municipality of Tarifa, Spain, in a minimum annual loss of more than three million euros, concentrated mainly in the fishing sector and public administration. These results buttress the relevance of prevention, early detection, and prompt action measures to soften the economic impact of future biological invasion processes in the marine-coastal environment.


  • Rugulopteryx okamurae
  • Invasive Alien Species
  • Economic impact
  • Tarifa
  • Fishing
  • Biological invasions

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