Caribbean false mussel

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A recent report from the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) said that a spread of an invasive species, the Caribbean false mussel (Mytilopsis sallei) is wiping out the native variant in Kerala.

About Caribbean false mussel: 

  • It is originally from the Atlantic and Pacific coast of South and Central America.
  • It could have reached the Indian coast through ballast waters (the seawater that ships carry inside for better stability) and later spread to the estuaries through smaller fishing vessels.
  • This invasive species has spread across estuaries from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod.
  • It has now started affecting the mussel aquaculture farms also in Kerala.
  • It reproduces rapidly and is very tolerant, and can even survive in freshwater.
  • They grow in the similar habitats where our mussels grow and displace them massively.
  • It can be found growing on hard surfaces such as logs, stones, shells, and artificial structures.


Key facts about IPBES

  • It is an independent intergovernmental body established by States.
  • It was established in Panama City in April 2012 by 94 Governments.
  • It aims to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development.
  • It is not a United Nations body. However, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) provides secretariat services to IPBES.
  • HQ – Bonn, Germany


Q1) What is United Nations?

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization established on October 24, 1945, after the end of World War II. It was founded to promote international cooperation and maintain peace and security among nations. The UN's headquarters is located in New York City, United States.

Source: Invasive mussel species from Central and South America wiping out native variant in Kerala