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Invasive alien fishes have caused pernicious ecological impacts on aquatic ecosystems. However, there has not been a global appraisal of associated economic impacts. Here, we compiled reported economic impacts of invasive alien fishes using the most comprehensive global database of invasion costs (InvaCost). We analyze how fish invasion costs are distributed geographically and temporally, as well as which socioeconomic sectors are most impacted. Fish invasions have caused the economic loss of at least US$32.8 billion globally (2017 value), from only 26 reported species (of 128 known invasive alien fish species). North America had the highest costs (> 99%), followed by Europe and Asia, with no costs reported in Africa, Oceania nor South America. Very few costs from invasive fish in the marine realm were reported (0.1%). Most costs are related to resource damages and losses (97%), with relatively little spent on management; mainly impacting the fisheries sector (93%). However, when only considering empirically observed costs (without predictions), most costs were incurred by authorities and stakeholders through management, indicating that damage costs from invasive fishes are often extrapolated and/or difficult to quantify. Fish invasion costs increase markedly over time, from US$0.57 billion/year in the 1980s to US$1 billion/year in the 2000s. Fish invasions have been relatively well studied; however, economic costs have been lower than expected based on overall numbers of alien species. Accordingly, although costs are increasing, improved reporting is required to better understand how fish invasion costs are distributed across time, space and economic sectors.

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Research Square, v. 1, art. rs-381243