News: Charru mussel (Mytella strigata), an invasive species is spreading in the backwaters of Kerala.
- Charru mussel(Mytella strigata): It is an invasive species native to the South and Central Americas.
- It spreads primarily through the discharge of ballast waters of ships (seawater carried in the ballast tanks of ships to improve its stability and balance).
- It can tolerate a wide variety of environmental conditions (salinity, water temperatures and oxygen levels) which helps them thrive in the new areas they colonise.
- They displace native species of mussel and clam species (which local fishermen depend on for their livelihood) from their coastal habitats and cause a reduction in native biodiversity.
- Invasive Species: It is an organism that causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native.