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Concerns Over Invasive Mussel Species

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.