APHETI

   
   

Association for the Protection of Hammersley, Eld and Totten Inlets
in South Puget Sound, Washington
 

   

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Tunicates

Non-native tunicates exist in Hood Canal where they are causing an environmental crisis; the same types of invasive tunicates are also found in Totten Inlet.

In the June 21, 2006, issue of the Olympian, it was reported that the tunicates found in Hood Canal thrive on mussel raft stock and oyster long lines.

Tunicate colonies of Didemnum sp. attached to mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and rope in Gallagher Cove, Totten Inlet, WA, at Taylor Shellfish Farms, Inc.   USGS*

   
Tunicate colonies of Didemnum sp. attached to mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and rope in Gallagher Cove, Totten Inlet, WA, at Taylor Shellfish Farms, Inc. USGS*
   

Tunicate colonies of Didemnum sp. attached to mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and rope; large colony tendrils; in Gallagher Cove, Totten Inlet, WA, at Taylor Shellfish Farms, Inc. USGS*

*USGS November, 2004. Collector: G. King (TSF). Photo credit: G. Lambert (UW). 

   

The same non-native invasive tunicates that are causing an environmental crisis in Hood Canal are now found in Totten Inlet.   Pam Meacham from the Washington State Dept of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) addressed the APHETI Annual Meeting on May 18, 2006 to distribute materials and educate the membership about this invasive, non-native species in our waters.  Originally these were thought to be introduced through the discharge of ballast water by ocean going vessels.  Pleasure boat traffic is extremely minimal in Totten Inlet.  There are oyster barges and other industrial marine craft operating throughout Totten Inlet. 

QUESTION:  How did the Tunicates get in Totten and the other South Sound Inlets?  In the June 21, 2006 issue of the Olympian, it was reported that the tunicates found in Hood Canal thrive on mussel raft stock and oyster long lines.  An interesting observation made by APHETI monitors is that more tunicates are noted thriving near the mussel rafts at Gallagher Cove than anywhere else in Totten.  Whether this will remain the case is unknown.  WDFW does not have the resources to keep track of this invasive species in Totten Inlet, and are relying on APHETI and groups like ours to keep them apprised of its status.  Let us hope WDFW does not think APHETI can eradicate this invader; that should be the responsibility of someone other than taxpayers.

 

 

İAPHETI  2005 - 2013

Please send questions or contact us at apheti@gmail.com