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Odd creature showing up on WA coast


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#1    Ohelemapit

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:51 AM

It started with a few sightings here and there. Now a strange sea creature, a salp, is showing up on beaches and in crab pots up and down the Washington Coast, raising curiosity and concerns.

Adam Miller, the skipper of the crab boat 'Willapa', said he was concerned after one of the gelatinous creatres came up in one of his crab pots.

"I don't know what is; I have never seen one before," said Miller, who added that other crab boat captains are reporting similar experiences.

Beach combers are also reporting them. We were able to find two within a few minutes on a beach in Grayland.

Marine expert Alan rammer said he's received several calls from people asking what they are. He told us they are members of the tunicate family called 'salps' and are a harmless visitor from the South.

At this point, salps are just a curiosity. But if the population increases, commercial crabbers and others are concerned the creatures could affect the local economy and environment.

Source

Posted Image

#2    ChrLzs

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:39 AM

View Postxsas, on 15 February 2013 - 09:51 AM, said:

It started with a few sightings here and there. Now a strange sea creature, a salp, is showing up on beaches and in crab pots up and down the Washington Coast, raising curiosity and concerns.

Adam Miller, the skipper of the crab boat 'Willapa', said he was concerned after one of the gelatinous creatres came up in one of his crab pots.

"I don't know what is; I have never seen one before," said Miller, who added that other crab boat captains are reporting similar experiences.

Beach combers are also reporting them. We were able to find two within a few minutes on a beach in Grayland.

Marine expert Alan rammer said he's received several calls from people asking what they are. He told us they are members of the tunicate family called 'salps' and are a harmless visitor from the South.

At this point, salps are just a curiosity. But if the population increases, commercial crabbers and others are concerned the creatures could affect the local economy and environment.

Source

Salps are quite common, and some are also quite beautiful...
Posted Image
An 'invasion' of them in an area where they are not seen normally *may* be a problem, or it may not.

One of the the things that makes marine biology differ from terrestrial.. is that marine species form huge and very complex and changeable food webs.  Species can come and go in terms of high and low populations, food sources can change, sometimes whole levels of the web can be skipped as the web ebbs and flows..  But in any given region, the food web will have some key species - if those key species die out or their populations go crazy for whatever reason, then *bad* things can happen..

The only way to take an educated guess on whether something is likely to be a problem is to talk to a very competent and experienced marine biologist specialising in the entire food web, for that region...

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#3    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:50 AM

Are they common in Japanese waters ? I'm wondering if they're part of what is nesting in debris floating over now.

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#4    Eldorado

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:52 AM

More after-effects of that Japanese tsunami & earthquake?  (Note to experts: Only a mad guess, please don't shout at me)

Edit: Sorry, Simbi.  I posted without seeing yours.

Edited by Eldorado, 15 February 2013 - 11:01 AM.


#5    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:57 AM

http://plankt.oxford...t/28/6/537.full
Yup ,but they're also seen in monteray bay . Is it warm in Washington this winter ?
They seem to prefer warmer waters .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salp

Edited by Simbi Laveau, 15 February 2013 - 10:58 AM.

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#6    Q-C

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:34 AM

How very cool. Google images are awesome.
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