Carpet Sea Squirt

A filter feeding marine invertebrate that forms large colonies carpetting hard structures on which it grows.  Its fast growth could threaten our fishing industry, shellfish growers and the conservation of our native marine habitats.

Carpet Sea Squirt (Didemnum vexillum) was only confirmed in British waters in 2008.  However, there are strong concerns that it will quickly colonise a much wider area as it has been found to do in other countries such as New Zealand and the USA.

Along with other problems, based on current predictions this species could cost mussel farming between £1.3 and £6.8 million over the next ten years.  Other impacts include potentially clogging fishing equipment, biofouling boats and smothering native reef habitats.

Click on the video player below to watch footage of the recent invasion.

Carpet sea squirt, an invasive marine species
Carpet sea squirt biofouling marine equipment

Thin strip of image show tree trunk and bark