Monday, August 12, 2002

As the Nuclear Worm Turns

The Washington Post has this really silly article about the bizarrely named "Nuclear Worm" (Namalycastis spp.). These giant (5-7 feet long!) pink worms are being imported into the U.S. from their native Vietnam for use as fishing bait. One problem with this is that the worms are known to carry diseases, including cholera. They survive in a wide range of environmental conditions, and there is some concern that the worms could survive on their own in more tropical climates. The issue of importing and shipping bait is a complicated one: a profitable commercial industry must deal with states taking steps to prevent the import of species when there is a significant threat that they could escape and become invasive.

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