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International Invasive Tunicate Workshop



Invasive tunicates have now become a major concern on Canada's East and West coasts. The solitary species Ciona intestinalis and Styela clava, and colonial species Botrylloides violaceus and Didemnum spp. are currently severe impediments to shellfish farmers with a growing concern amongst all coastal resource users.

Internationally, tunicates are a growing concern, not only for aquaculture, but also for benthic fisheries where the habitat is becoming overwhelmed with invasive colonial tunicates. In the United States, one such species group, Didemnum, is currently expanding across the Northeast Atlantic along Georges Bank, one of the most world's most productive and lucrative fishing grounds. This colonial species has been observed covering more than 110 square kilometers of the ocean bottom blanketing all life including commercially harvested invertebrates such as scallops and clams. Even more importantly is the concern raised by scientists is that this expanding tunicate population will drastically reduce benthic species diversity in its wake destroying critical fish habitat.

This workshop will bring together researchers from Canada, the United States, Europe and New Zealand along with affected industry and public stakeholders involved in aquatic farming and the wild fisheries. The emphasis of the workshop will be to bring awareness of the encroachment of these animals with a focus on how these animals can be managed.

The proposed venue for the workshop will be in conjunction with the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia's annual Scotian Pride 2006 conference on January 28, 2006. This nationally acclaimed conference has been a focal meeting for aquaculturists for over thirty years providing coordination and support to the development of the aquaculture industry in Atlantic Canada.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2006 - 2006



Principal Investigator(s)

Denise Méthé

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