Managing Invasive Species Pathways (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Plans)

750 FW 1
FWM Number
Originating Office
Division of FIsh and Aquatic Conservation Programs

1.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter establishes policy to help prevent the spread of invasive and non-target species by developing and implementing a quality-control planning process in all Service operations within the Fisheries Program through Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Plans. 

1.2 What is the objective of the policy? This policy helps the Fisheries Program to better protect, secure, and maintain the ecological viability of our nation's fish and wildlife resources by reducing the movement of invasive and non-target species.

1.3 What are invasive and non-target species?

A. Invasive species are alien aquatic and terrestrial organisms whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health (see Executive Order 13112).

B. Non-target species are typically plants or animals, but may also be diseases, pathogens, parasites, or other biological organisms or their products, that we do not intend to move during our activities.

1.4 What is a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system and what are HACCP plans?

A. A HACCP system is a five-step process to identify, evaluate, control, and document invasive and non-target species, through specific pathways, significant for a wide range of natural resource management applications. 

B. HACCP planning is an international standard (ASTM E2590 - 08) for reducing or eliminating the spread of unwanted species during specific processes or practices or in materials or products.

C. We identify critical control points in a HACCP plan. A critical control point is the best point, step, or procedure at which we can prevent or reduce significant hazards to minimum risk within a specific pathway. Potential pathways for invasive and non-target species include:

(1) Activities such as collecting and moving plants or animals, habitat and population enhancement, research, recreation site development and maintenance, and other field work; and

(2) Equipment and material we use for activities, such as cars, trucks, trailers, all-terrain vehicles, boats, aircraft, bulldozers, backhoes, sampling gear (e.g., nets), wading gear, and clothing.

D. During HACCP planning, we focus attention on the critical control points within carefully defined activities where we can most effectively prevent or remove non-target species. A HACCP plan:

(1) Documents the risks of unintended introductions and defines the methods we should use to remove non-target species (for some pathways, risks may outweigh the benefits of a planned activity),

(2) Provides employees with reliable information to help them make consistent management and resource decisions based on identified risks (see section 1.9A(2) and Step 4 the appendix to this chapter),

(3) Builds a logical framework we can use to weigh the risks of spreading invasive and non-target species against management benefits, and

(4) Creates a reference source documenting best management practices and procedures that we can  share with other offices and the private sector to reduce risks of species spread through pathways with similar characteristics.

E. In a HACCP plan, you must:

(1) Describe and diagram the activity you plan to perform,

(2) Identify potential hazards,

(3) Analyze the activity and define effective critical control points to reduce hazards, and

(4) Document the effectiveness of the prevention measures. A HACCP plan may not eliminate all hazards, but can minimize risk.

1.5 What is our policy?

A. Our policy is to reduce or prevent the spread of invasive and non-target species by implementing HACCP plans.

B. Relevant staff in Fisheries field stations and offices must:

(1) Become familiar with the principles of HACCP as a quality control planning tool,

(2) Identify how they will apply HACCP planning to their operations,

(3) Implement and document HACCP planning as standard operating procedure so that it is consistent with:

     (a) This policy and its purpose,

     (b) Guidelines found at the joint Service-University of Texas at Arlington HACCP Web site, and

     (c) The Fisheries Program Strategic Plan.

(4) Review and update HACCP plans (see section 1.11).

1.6 What is the scope of this chapter? This chapter:

A. Applies to relevant employees in the Fisheries Program involved in work that could inadvertently spread invasive or non-target species, and

B. Encourages the development and implementation of HACCP plans for Service-funded or sanctioned activities that could inadvertently spread invasive or non-target species (e.g., partner-led activities).

1.7 What is the authority for this chapter? The authority for this chapter is Executive Order 13112, Invasive Species. This Order directs Federal agencies to prevent the spread of invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
in any work they authorize, fund, or carry out.

1.8 Who is responsible for this policy?

A. The Director is responsible for approving HACCP policy.

B. The Assistant Director – Fisheries and Habitat Conservation is responsible for developing HACCP policy.

C. The Chief, Division of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Conservation:

(1) Keeps this policy up-to-date, and

(2) Assists Regions and field offices with questions about the planning process.

D. Assistant Regional Directors, Fisheries:

(1) Appoint a Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator (Regional Coordinator) for their respective Regions,

(2) Encourage the Regional Coordinator to review HACCP plans they receive from Project Leaders and field office supervisors, and

(3) Promote HACCP planning with partners through training, technical assistance, and where appropriate, by encouraging the development and implementation of HACCP plans.

E. Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinators for Fisheries (Regional Coordinators):

(1) Help Project Leaders and field office supervisors determine whether to develop HACCP plans and what should be in them,

(2) Request copies of HACCP plans to review and keep on file, and

(3) Circulate HACCP plans to other relevant Service staff for peer review.

F. Project Leaders and field office supervisors:

(1) Determine which employees are subject to this policy,

(2) Develop HACCP plans for their activities that have the potential to spread invasive or non-target species,

(3) Ensure that their personnel follow the procedures in the HACCP plans,

(4) Provide HACCP plans to their Regional Coordinator, when requested, and

(5) Review and update HACCP plans (see section 1.11).

1.9 How does a Project Leader/supervisor determine when to develop a HACCP plan?

A. The Project Leader/supervisor works with the Regional Coordinator to determine:

(1) The number and extent of HACCP plans needed (they base their decisions on the nature of operations), and

(2) Whether the anticipated benefit of an activity outweighs the risks for introducing and spreading invasive and non-target species. The HACCP plan may not be sufficient to make this decision, potentially prompting the need for a more intensive risk assessment.

B. The Project Leader/supervisor and the Regional Coordinator may determine they need to write a plan for such activities as, but not limited to:

(1) Fish stocking programs or other operations intentionally moving species from one location to another;

(2) Propagation, recovery, restoration, and refugia operations for endangered species;

(3) Fish marking and tagging;

(4) Inventory and monitoring surveys; and

(5) Transportation of equipment, supplies, or people (e.g., transportation of equipment and supplies into and out of habitat restoration sites, or during ground-disturbing maintenance activities).

1.10 How does a Project Leader/supervisor develop a HACCP plan? Effective HACCP planning requires involvement by individuals closely tied to the subject work activity.

A. The appendix to this chapter will help you develop your HACCP plans. It provides a template to follow when writing a plan and gives information and advice about what to include in each section. 

B. HACCP training is available at the National Conservation Training Center and can be arranged within each Region by working with the Regional Coordinator.

C. Additional information and HACCP planning tools, including a database of completed HACCP plans and announcements of training workshops, are available on the HACCP Web site. 

1.11 How often does a Project Leader/supervisor need to evaluate and update an existing plan? You should review/revise your HACCP plans:

A. At least annually,

B. When you hire new employees who will perform relevant activities,

C. When you discover new species, and

D. When new control technologies are developed.

Attachments (Exhibits, Amendments, etc)