I long ago accepted the fact that stupid decisions are made regarding management of waters and lands.
Still, sometimes the immenseness of that stupidity staggers me. That’s the case this time with the intentional introduction of zebra mussels in Great Britain.
This article says that the mussels “were introduced to clean up the water.”
And an official responsible for this insanity says, "We want to keep the water as clean as possible and as clear as possible so the whole society can benefit.
"People can now walk along the quayside (at Salford Quays) and see clean and clear water."
I’ll bet that they can. Aquatic life has been sucked right out of the water.
These are the same mussels that have collapsed the food chain in Lake Huron and are well on their way to doing the same in Lake Michigan. They do so by gobbling phytoplankton and zooplankton with their rapacious filter-feeding.
Along with their quagga mussel cousins, they also have been linked to an increase in toxic algae blooms in the Great Lakes, as well as outbreaks of avian botulism that have killed thousands of loons and other birds.
And of course, these invaders are costly. Governments and industries must spend billions annually to keep them from blocking water intakes.
Let’s not forget, too, that they easily spread from one water body to another in livewells and bilges, as well as on boat hulls and trailers.
Back in Britain, meanwhile a fishing club has disbanded because its members have failed to catch a single fish during their last four competitions in the mussel-infested waters.
And the company that introduced the mussels denies that they are to blame for the fisheries decline.