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  • Brought in ballast, aggressive seaweed spreads along East Coast

    Reuters - 11/30/2012

    An invasive Asian seaweed that likely was brought to the New England coast from Europe has spread across more than 400 miles (645 km) of Atlantic coastline since it was first discovered in U.S. waters off Rhode Island in 2009, biologists say.

    The Red Asian seaweed is creating problems for the fishing industry as it gums lobster traps and fishing pots while displacing marine creatures that feed on native seaweed varieties.

    “It’s outcompeting them,” said Matt Bracken, a Northeastern University biologist who is studying the spread of the plant known scientifically as heterosiphonia japonica.