Monday, May 07, 2007

Wrapped Response

The Marlborough Express has an article about New Zealand's Didemnum Working Group, which just took home the top prize at the Marlborough Environmental Awards. The team won $250,000 NZ dollars ($184,000 USD) for their innovative way of killing off infestations of Didemnum, an invasive sea squirt: they cover colonies in baleage (balage) wrap, plastic sheeting typically used to wrap up bales of hay. The plastic wrap, if applied properly, eliminates the flow of water within the sea squirt colonies, effectively cutting off the oxygen supply and killing the Didemnum. Test treatments have had a very high rate of success - Didemnum has been eliminated in 97% of the treatment areas. To see details of what is involved in this method of control, read the full report (pdf).

Bonus points to Didemnum Working Group chairman Graeme Coates, who apparently consented to being himself wrapped in plastic balage wrap for the award photo.

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