Organisms in Trade

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) can be introduced into new water bodies through a pathway what is known as organisms in trade (OIT). This pathway includes aquarium release, water garden escape, study organism release, live food and aquaculture release, and live bait. The OIT pathway is a well-documented route that has introduced AIS are introduced into the Great Lakes.

Once AIS are established in a new environment, typically, they are difficult or impossible remove. Even if they are removed, their impacts are often irreversible. It is much more environmentally and economically sound to prevent the introduction of new AIS through thoughtful purchasing and proper care of organisms.

VIDEO: Beauty Contained: Preventing Invasive Species from Escaping Water Gardens

Colorful fish and lush greenery that make up backyard oases sometimes include aquatic invasive species (AIS) purchased from well-meaning, but unaware retailers. Wisconsin Sea Grant, in partnership with IISG and the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network have produced a new video, which is the latest tool in the effort to stop the spread of AIS. Beauty Contained: Preventing Invasive Species from Escaping Water Gardens is directed toward retailers, though consumers will surely appreciate the knowledge as well. The guidelines outlined in the video were adopted from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force and address the care and selection of plants and animals for water gardens.

This information and much more can be found at and

Aquatic animals and plants in water gardens and along the edges of lakes, ponds, and streams are gaining popularity with many gardeners. Both can bring terrific visual appeal and drama to the residential landscape, but some species have invasive tendencies that threaten the ecology of our natural areas. If you’re a water garden hobbyist or interested in becoming one, this webinar is for you. 

Nab The Aquatic Invader

In this webinar, you will learn about aquatic invasive species and the problems they can cause, how teachers can help prevent their spread. The online aquatic invasive species teacher resource, Nab The Aquatic Invader is reviewed in detail.

Keeping Your Aquarium Free of Aquatic Invaders

In this webinar, you will learn about how species go from being simply aquatic species to aquatic invaders, how invasive species are spread from aquariums, and what hobbyists can do to help prevent the introduction of novel aquatic species.

Science Behind Aquatic Invasive Plants

In this webinar, you will learn about aquatic invasive plants and the problems they can cause, how science is being used to assess the ecological risk behind exotic plants, and practical steps you can take to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Building a Better Water Garden

In this webinar, you will learn about design techniques for creating spectacular aquatic landscapes, and about non-invasive aquatic plants that can be used in place of invasive species.


Pat Charlebois
Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator

Greg Hitzroth
Aquatic Invasive Species Outreach Specialist

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
Purdue University
195 Marsteller Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2033
University of Illinois Extensio
Sea Grant
Purdue University