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What is “rock mucus”?

“Rock mucus” is an invasive algae. It is an exotic species that is endangering the ecosystem of the Chubut mountain range.

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The presence of “rock mucus” in lakes and rivers of Chubut was warned several years ago by scientists and specialists in the subject. In 2012, the Government of the Province declared a state of emergency in the face of the great advance of algae over the mountain range.

Since then, an Emergency Committee was established with researchers and representatives of the state agency, who work with a special credit in the prevention, monitoring and control of invasive algae.

Although there have been no progress of this species in the area for several years, 2020 came with some concerns. Therefore, the Ministry of Environment and Control of Chubut began with some monitoring tasks to know the behavior of algae.

About monitoring tasks

During the field work, samples were taken of the Carrenleufu and Pico rivers. The Rio Corcovado basins were included, Lake Vintter and Deception, Lake Guacho, Río Hielo, Río Pico and its confluence with Pampa River. Also in Lakes 1, 2 and 3, Laguna La Pava, Río Tecka and Arroyo Putrachoique.

The technique in charge, Mr. Florencia Cimato, highlighted the importance of monitoring work to know the seaweed conditions. He also indicated that from 2015 to date only was detected as a new invasion of the Nilson River.

The final results will allow you to know the current situation of “rock mucus” in the mountain range and the impact on the aquatic ecosystem of rivers, lakes and streams.

National Plan and awareness-raising tasks

Chubut is a province with large flows of rivers and diversity of lakes. In them, it promotes sport fishing as a product tourist. Therefore, and because the main carrier of expansion of the seaweed is found in fishing equipment, waders and footwear, the Province was included in the National Strategy on Species Invasive Exotic (ENEI).

This led to the installation of self-cleaning to promote good practices among fishermen and prevent, thus, the entry and expansion of the invasive alien species into the environment. This measure was accompanied by other awareness-raising actions, such as information banners at airports and bilingual information posters at access to bodies of water.

Publication Date: 17/01/2020

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