July 13, 2004
For immediate release
Efforts Underway to Increase Awareness of Aquatic Invaders
Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture & Forestry
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Aquatic invasive species such as the green crab, clubbed tunicate and oyster thief have been in Island waters since the late 1990's. They pose a serious threat to the existing plants and animals in our aquatic ecosystems and the viability of Prince Edward Island’s multi-million dollar shellfish industry.
These invasive species are contained to specific bodies of waters around the Island. Public awareness of these species and their impact on the Island’s economy will help prevent or slow down their spread.
Minister MacAdam indicated that the awareness campaign will be targeted at all water users and will be operating during the 2004 boating season. It will include signage at wharves and launch slips and a radio advertising campaign encouraging boaters to clean their boats and trailers of marine debris before moving from one body of water to another.
“It is very important that the aquatic invaders we currently have in Prince Edward Island are contained to the rivers and estuaries where they are presently located,” said Minister MacAdam. “All water users can do their part by making themselves familiar with these species and ensuring that they do not inadvertently transport them from one body of water to another. Cleaning your boat, trailer and gear is the important first step in controlling the spread of aquatic invasive species.”
In addition to the advertising campaign and signage, Minister MacAdam said his department will be working with summer students from the Department of Environment and Energy’s Environment Futures Program to help promote awareness of aquatic invasive species. Environment Futures students will be visiting PEI wharves and marinas to distribute pamphlets on marine invasive species and answer questions that boat owners may have.
For more information on aquatic invasive species, visit the Web site: www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/afaf_invasive.pdf or call (902) 368-6330.