Record number of boats inspected for tiny, but mighty, invasive mussels | Penticton News | iNFOnews

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Record number of boats inspected for tiny, but mighty, invasive mussels

Image Credit: Mussel Threat
November 11, 2016 - 9:30 AM

KELOWNA - This year, The Invasive Mussel Defence Program inspected a record-breaking 24,000 watercraft for invasive quagga and zebra mussels. Their mandate is to keep B.C.'s waterways free of invasive mussels. 

"Invasive mussels may be tiny, but they pose a huge risk to B.C.'s ecosystems and economy," Mary Polak, Minister of Environment says in a release. "That's why we are working hard with our partners and neighbouring states and provinces to prevent the spread of invasive mussels. To date, no zebra or quagga mussels have been detected in B.C."

According to a release from the province, 683 of the total watercraft inspected were identified as coming from a high-risk area. Seventeen of the total watercraft inspected were confirmed to have adult invasive mussels. Fourteen of those watercraft came from Ontario. The rest were from Manitoba, Michigan and Nevada.

Crews wrote 92 decontamination orders, 46 tickets and 36 warnings to motorists who did not stop at inspection stations.

Eight permanent inspection stations have been established at major entry points at B.C.'s borders with Alberta and the U.S. The stations are staffed with 32 trained officers who inspect and decontaminate watercraft, if needed. Teams also respond to boats flagged by the Canadian Border Services Agency, the release states. 

The province reminds the public to report any mussel-affected boats and equipment to the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) toll-free hotline at 1 877 952-7277.

To read more about invasive mussels, click here.

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