Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Invasive mussel found in Gisborne

Gisborne District Council has identified an unwelcome intruder in local waters – the Asian Date Mussel.

The Council says the small brown mussel, known for its invasive nature, was discovered during routine sediment sampling along the estuarine environment between the Taraheru and Waimata rivers.

“The Asian Date Mussel poses a significant threat to our region. It forms dense mats, alters sediment composition, and outcompetes native species for resources, the Council said in a statement.

It says that despite being a marine species, the Asian Date Mussel can thrive in estuarine environments with tidal seawater flow and there are currently no suitable methods for eradicating or containing it.

To prevent further spread, boat owners are being asked to thoroughly clean their vessels before entering new waterways. This includes trailer boats, jet skis, waka, and kayaks.

    Council Biosecurity team leader, Phillip Karaitiana emphasised the urgency of following the CCD ‘CHECK CLEAN DRY’ protocols for recreational watercraft moving between regions.

    “We cannot afford to let new species into our district waterways,” he said.

    “Vigilance and preventive measures are crucial. We believe this mussel was brought into our waters through a contaminated vessel.”

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