Fishermen raise concern over invasive species of mussel in Ennore and Pulicat

Source: The post is based on the article “Fishermen raise concern over invasive species of mussel in Ennore and Pulicat” published in The Hindu on 30th December 2022

What is the News?

Fishermen of Pulicat and Ennore in Kerala are worried about the spread of an invasive mussel species named Mytella strigata or Charru mussels.

What is Charru Mussel?

Charru Mussel (Mytella Strigata) is a species of mussel native to Central and South America.

It resembles the green and brown mussels (kallummekka in Malayalam), but is much smaller in size. Its colour varies from black to brown, purple or dark green.

Charru Mussel in India

Charru Mussel is an invasive species in India. They are known as kakka aazhi among the fishermen in Kerala.

They have invaded tidal wetlands in several parts of the world including Vembanad in Kerala.

Reason for spread: They may have reached the Indian shores attached to ship hulls or as larval forms in ballast water discharges. (Ballast is the seawater that ships carry to improve stability).

Impact: They spread like a carpet over the riverbed preventing prawns from grazing or burying themselves in the sediment. Its spread is wiping out the locally prevalent yellow clams(manja matti) and green mussels (pachai aazhi).

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