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.
Oyster Thief (Codium fragile tomentosoides)
Codium fragile, a green alga from Japan, first appeared in eastern Canada in 1989 in southern Nova Scotia. It also appeared in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 1996.
●    Shaped like a small bush, soft, velvety and spongy to the touch
●    Colour ranges from light to dark green
●    Thick, spongy, Y-shaped cylindrical branches, 3 to 10 mm in diameter
●    Length of up to 90 cm long
●    Each plants weighs up to 3 kg
●    When beached, it may turn white and resemble spaghetti
●    Replaces existing native species
●    Uproots eelgrass which provides shelter and reproductive and feeding habitat for fish, molluscs and crustaceans
●    Can overtake and replace kelp, a natural habitat for many species including lobster and urchin
●    Makes molluscs weaker by preventing feeding and makes them more prone to predators
●    May float away with oysters and any other shells it attaches to
●    Economic impacts on shellfish industries include loss of crop and fouling