The Medway Swale Estuary Partnership have asked us to look out for invasive species.
The Carpet Sea Squirt has been identified at Cuxton. This is a highly invasive non-native marine animal, thought to be originally from Japan. By smothering native species, it not only poses threats to conservation but also to the fishing and shellfish industries.
Whilst similar to some native species, the following characteristics are useful for identification:
• It has a uniform pale orange, cream or off-white colour.
• The surface has a firm leather y texture, with a veined marbled appearance .
• Its surface has numerous open small pores, which close up out of water to produce pale spots.
• It can grow either as thin flexible sheets or hang down in long rope-like growths.
Shallow waters, such as harbours and marinas. Usually found growing on hard surfaces, including the underside of jetties and boulders.
The leaflet can be downloaded from http://msep.org.uk/downloads.php