The fish risk assessment protocol was adapted from the CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) protocol developed by Gordon Copp in the United Kingdom. The Horus Institute and Biologists Dr. Jean Vitule, currently at the Federal University of Parana (UFPR), and Dr. Leandro A. Pereira, currently at the Parana Federal Technical Institute (ITFPR), adapted the protocols between 2008 and 2009.
A total of 95 species were assessed to generate enough reference for the adjustment of risk levels. Some species were indigenous in Brazil and translocated between watersheds, and have no history of introduction of invasion elsewhere. Some species were classical invaders in several countries, such as tilapia, carp and African catfish.
Risk levels are: (a) very low; (b) low; (c) moderate; (d) high; or (e) very high. Moderate risk results imply the need for further assessment. Assessments are only valid if the minimum requirements are fulfilled, including a minimum number of answers.
The protocol resulted 85% precision for the tested species. As some Brazilian species without reference elsewhere were difficult to assess for lack of data, results indicated moderate risk and require further assessment as data becomes available. The classic invasive species, however, turned out of high risk.