Concerns Over Invasive Mussel Species:
Fishermen of Pulicat and Ennore are raised concerns over the spread of an invasive species of mussel that is a threat to the prawns of both waterbodies.
- The marine biologists identified these species as Mytella strigata or Charru mussels which are Native to South America.
- These mussels have invaded tidal wetlands in several parts of the world, including Vembanad in Kerala.
- This is spreading due to the discharge of ballast waters from ships visiting the ports of Kattupalli.
- After Cyclone Vardah in December 2016, the mussels began to intensify and spread far north towards the Pulicat waters.
- Human interference in the wetlands, pollution and nature’s actions have triggered the rapid spread of the species.
- These mussels spread like a carpet over the river bottoms and thus preventing prawns from grazing or burying themselves in the sediment.
- Its spread is wiping out the locally prevalent yellow clams and green mussels.