Type of fouling organism: Sea Squirt
Ascidians or sea squirts are sessile filter feeding animals commonly found in the subtidal. This group of fouling organisms can be colonial or unitary and are often of indefinite shape and the surrounding tunic can give an appearance that resembles sponges, bryozoans or cnidarians. All are hermaphroditic but usually unitary species release eggs into the sea and colonial species incubate embryos internally. The larval duration can vary greatly affecting dispersal potential.
Ciona intestinalis is a solitary sea squirt with a soft, retractile and a pale translucent greenish/yellow body. The internal organs are often visible through the soft test. The 2 siphons are close together at one end of the body and are lobed frequently with yellow margins and orange/red spots. They are host for various parasite copepods.
Environment and Habitat
- Subtidal (from the lower shore down to 500 m).
- Reproductive type: hermaphrodite & Oviparous.
- Solitary or gregarious.
- Mussel rope culture, oyster and suspended pectinid culture.
Effects and Impacts
- Problematic for stock species as can compete for space and resources, reducing meat yield.
Control/ Strategies and Management
Principles of Management
C Combat Settlement
- Thought to be a North Atlantic species but now distributed worldwide as a result of shipping.
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