Friday, January 25, 2008

SCUBA Dooby Doo!!!!

Great story in the San Juan Islander about a diver who discovered some odd-looking creatures while he was diving off the San Juan Islands in Washington state. The blob-like tunicates that Nick Brown found turned out to be Ciona savignyi, an invasive species previously unknown in those waters. The diver's sharp eye can be credited to the invasive species identification training he received from REEF, the Reef Environmental Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that has been training divers to identify marine organisms and participate in surveys for over a decade. Nick's id skills and photo were enough to get two scientists out to the site, where they discovered and removed several of the tunicates. The site will continue to be monitored for the presence of Ciona for the near future.

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