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Alaska denies study of marine (herring egg) invader near Sitka

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 11:41 am | Updated: 11:51 am, Tue Apr 9, 2013.
Associated Press | 0 comments

SITKA, Alaska - Alaska fisheries officials concerned about the spread of an invasive marine species have denied federal and university researchers permission to study the organism's effect on herring eggs near Sitka.

Biologist Tammy Davis of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said Tuesday the state will instead focus on eradicating Didemnum vexillum, also known as D vex, which has been found so far only in Sitka's Whiting Harbor.

"We feel really hopeful that eradication is possible," Davis said......

The Sitka Sentinel ( ... Fish and Game Sport Fisheries Director Charles Swanton said in a letter to Seeland and Chapman that the request was denied because of concern about spreading the tunicate. D vex is spread by objects like boat hulls and floats, which is likely how it made it to Alaska in the first place.  The project would have involved moving boats and herring pounds into Whiting Harbor to place eggs in infested areas for the purposes of the study. Davis said Fish and Game’s top priority was to avoid any spread of the tunicate and that the department thought the research project might present that risk.) reports D vex, also known as sea squirt or ascidian, is a carpet tunicate that grows over.... )  ....