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Something creepy sliding across the ocean floor; Oozy substance in the Atlantic Threatens fishing off Nova Scotia
[ONT Edition]
Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont.
Author: Toughill, Kelly
Date: Jul 30, 2005
Start Page: F.04
Section: National Report
Abstract (Document Summary)

When they returned last year, they discovered the tiny sea squirt population had exploded, spreading over more than 100 square kilometres of the precious Georges Bank, about 200 kilometres south of Nova Scotia. In much of that area, a thick blanket of the tiny animals now covers half the sea bottom.

Mussel farmers in P.E.I., Nova Scotia and B.C. have battled tunicate invasions that took over their hanging farms. In some cases, the tunicates get so heavy on a line of farmed mussels that the mussels break off and sink to the ocean floor. In other cases, the tunicates smother the mussels, wrapping them so tightly that the bivalve can't breathe.

[Page Valentine] and Dann Blackwood U.S. Geological Survey The reddish substance on the left of the photo is tunicate, a tiny organism that links together in the millions as it floats across the ocean floor in the Georges Bank south of Nova Scotia. The blanket tunicate forms can separate fish from their food, possibly threatening the commercial fishery.

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