The Asian green mussel is a large bivalve attaining a size up to 16cm in length. Juveniles are typically bright green in colour, with the adults turning dark green to brown.
It is fast growing, can tolerate a wide range of water salinities and temperatures, and can be found in water depths of up to 42m. This mussel is capable of attaching to a variety of hard surfaces including vessels, buoys and aquaculture equipment often forming dense clumps.
The Asian green mussel can outcompete native species, but also has the potential if eaten to cause human-health impacts (shellfish poisoning).
Asian green mussel / Perna viridis
Photo courtesy of Northern Territory Government
Similar native species
These native species may be confused with this marine pest.
Blue mussel / Mytilus galloprovincialis planulatus
On the 1st July the NSW Government implemented the new Biosecurity Act 2015(the Act). Under Schedule 2 of this Act the Asian Green Mussel is declared as prohibited matter in NSW. This means it is illegal to possess, buy, sell or move this pest in NSW. Heavy penalties apply for non-compliance. In addition, NSW DPI has the power to seize and require the destruction of this pest .
People are expected to have a basic level of knowledge about the biosecurity risks they might encounter in their normal work and recreational activities. All community members have a general biosecurity duty to consider how actions, or in some cases lack of action could have a negative impact on another person, business enterprise, animal or the environment. We must then take all reasonable and practical measures to prevent or minimise the potential impact.
Learn to recognise, and be aware of, the Asian green mussel so that you can report any suspected new sighting.
If you see this pest in NSW, please report it immediately