Bivalves Gone Bad

Were it not for my friend Steve Nash, a University of Richmond journalism professor who has written extensively on the subject, I would know next to nothing about invasive species. But, trust me, the subject is really important. The consequences of introducing of alien species into environments where local flora and fauna have not evolved defenses against them can be devastating. You don’t have to be a tree hugger to be concerned. Nationally, invasive species cause billions of dollars of damage every year.

As a case in point, consider a story buried in the Richmond Times-Dispatch today: Virginia has hired a private firm to eradicate the only known infestation of zebra mussels within the commonwealth. The mussel, writes Kelley, “can clog industrial water-intake pipes, soil beaches and drive out native shellfish.” The price tag for removing them from a single quarry in Northern Virginia: $365,000.

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3 responses to “Bivalves Gone Bad”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Go for it!

    This reminds me of the Northern Snakehead scare they had in Maryland a few years ago. There’s no doubt that if left unchecked the Snakehead will be in VA waters soon.

    For more info, Click here. and here.

  2. NoVA Scout Avatar
    NoVA Scout

    The snakehead is in Virginia waters in force already. There have been well-documented finds in many of the tributaries of the Potomac in Northern Virginia. Most of the authorities I’ve seen quoted say there’s nothing for it other than to find some chinese recipes. Apparently it’s a good-eating fish. The concern is that its voracious appetite will make it a threat to the recently resurgent bass population of the Potomac.

    It would be fascinating (although perhaps impossible to know) how the Zebra mussels got into the quarry in PW. The major infestation has been in the Great Lakes. They were introduced there in the ballast water of ships calling from Europe during the warm-month operations of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

  3. Ray Hyde Avatar

    It’s my policy to try to let bivalves be bivalsves.

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