An international issue flexes its mussels
Jennifer Nalbone of the conservation group Great Lakes United made a clear point that "an invasion into the Great Lakes is an invasion into the heartland of North America."
My understanding of zebra and quagga mussels was that the intrusion of these mollusks originated in the Great Lakes, which it did to the extent of spreading the invasion nationwide. But in reality the issue is international, starting with Russia.
So, how are mussels in Russia, along with other Western European countries affected by their presence, being exterminated?
In a 2012 BBC report, giving an invasive water pest the bullet, Will Smale introduces two United Kingdom companies joining forces to produce a new chemical solution: The Biobullet. The Cambridge-based company teamed up with Tastetech, a food industry business in Bristol, to coat a small, round "bullet" sized toxin potassium chloride, in vegetable fats. This concoction, while pleasing to the mussels, acts as their silent killer.
Now, the next question is, do the benefits of this new solution outweigh the costs of its production and use worldwide?
The problem causing controversy on previous governmental reform attempts has relied on possible economic repercussions. The shipping industry is the answer to expensive industrial transportation needs across the United States, and closing doors to waterways around the U.S. in favor of stopping the spread of mollusks is not in the forefront of many industrial-minded officials.