What to Look For

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are species that enter into new ecosystems and spread, causing damage to native species and their habitants. These species are spread beyond their normal distribution, often as a result of human activities, and can threaten valuable environmental, agricultural or personal resources by the damage they cause.
Vase Tunicate (Ciona intestinalis)
Origin:
Ciona intesinalis, a northern European species, it has been documented in eastern Canada for the past 100 years. Large populations have been found in Nova Scotia since 1997 and in Prince Edward Island since 2004.
Characteristics:
• Cylindrical, translucent, smooth, soft body
• Can reach lengths of 15 mm
• Colour ranges from light greenish yellow to orange or pink
• Develops individually but can form dense aggregations
Impacts:
•  May out-compete other organisms for food and space, altering natural community dynamics
• Threaten aquaculture, fishing and other coastal and offshore activities
• Increase the weight of aquaculture cultivation equipment, making work more demanding
• Increase operating costs for shellfish producers and processors