Undercurrents: beneath the obvious

December 22, 2006

European invader (shrimp) found in the Muskegon Lake Channel

Filed under: Ballast,Great Lakes News,Invasive Species,Michigan — nemo @ 2:37 pm

The Muskegon Chronicle reports on the latest invasive species to be spotted:

A species of shrimp previously found only in the seas of eastern Europe has now been discovered half a world away — in the Muskegon Lake Channel.

Thousands of bloody red mysid, Hemimysis anomala, were discovered in the channel in November. It is the most recent addition to a list of Great Lakes invader species that now numbers more than 180.

Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Lake Michigan Field Station who found swarms of bloody red mysid said the half-inch-long shrimp were likely imported to the Great Lakes in the ballast water of an oceangoing freighter.

Scientists said the discovery was unsettling for two reasons: It again demonstrated that exotic species are still entering the Great Lakes; and the imported shrimp may compete with fish for zooplankton, a microscopic source of food.

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