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Sea squirt found at salmon farm

NEW ZEALAND - An invasive sea squirt which has the aquaculture industry on alert has now been discovered at a salmon farm owned by Nelson-based company New Zealand King Salmon.

The marine pest Didemnum vexillum was found at the company's Te Pangu Bay farm in Tory Channel in the Marlborough Sounds just before Christmas and plans are being made to treat the site.

The sea squirt, which can smother mussel lines and devastate the marine environment, has been found at various sites in the Marlborough Sounds and also at Port Tarakohe in Golden Bay and there are ongoing efforts to eradicate it.

New Zealand King Salmon Company chief executive Paul Steere said the sea squirt incursion at the Te Pangu salmon farm was not extensive but it was annoying because the company had cleaned the farm structures and made efforts to prevent it taking hold there.

Scientists from Nelson's Cawthron Institute were checking the squirt to confirm it was Didemnum vexillum, Mr Steere said.

Source: The Nelson Mail

the Fish Site Editor

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