Organism threatens mussel beds

By Harata Brown
  • Northland

Ahipara Komiti Takutaimoana, a local coastal protection committee has serious concerns for local mussel beds, as they are being overtaken by the foreign sea squirt known as pyura, and the mussels have long fed and sustained the masses.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says pyura presents a risk to the $400mil mussel industry, but without significant research on the mussel beds, the degree of risk remains unknown.

80% of the mussel industry was seeded from spat collected on 90 Mile Beach.

MPI says it's working on a plan, and they hope to work in partnership with community authorities to help eradicate the organism.

For now, only time will tell whether or not this mussel bed will still be thriving like this, next year.