Economic importance of polychaetes Re: [Annelida] need help

Geoff Read via (by from
Tue Dec 23 18:19:45 EST 2008


Let us first acknowledge one of the significant economic benefits of polychaetes is that they are a means whereby many of us gain employment as scientists, and thereby have money to buy the essentials of life.

Two pretty sabellid aliens with contrasting receptions and economic effects:-

The sabellid Sabellastarte spectabilis is a harvested marine ornamental species in Hawaii. Attempts have been made to aquaculture it. Whereas the sabellid Sabella spallanzanii is an unwanted fouling alien in New Zealand. Attempts have been made to eradicate it, and NZ $3.6 million is budgeted for the program in future.


>>> "Harry A. ten Hove" <H.A.tenHove from> 12/24/08 10:13 AM >>>

Dear Samia,

That is a very wide range of topics you want to cover, from worms 
traded as fish-bait to commercially cultured polychaetes, from the 
importance of the palolo worm as source of food to the damage done to 
oysters by boring polychaetes (Polydora), from increase in fuel 
consumption by a heavy cover of fouling organisms (such as serpulids) 
to serpulids as competitors for food and space with economically 
important oysters. The problem may be that, although many statements 
on economic importance are made, to my knowledge (but of course I 
only am studying Serpulidae) few hard data have been given. 
Unfortunately economy is not a key word in my literature retrieval 
system. The only reference I presently can think of is:

Arakawa, K.Y., 1971.- Notes on a serious damage to cultured oyster 
crops in Hiroshima caused by a unique and unprecedented outbreak of a 
serpulid worm, Hydroides norvegica (Gunnerus) in 1969. Venus 30, 2: 
75-82, 1 pl.

Of course you are aware that H. norvegicus  does not occur in Japan, 
and that the proper name probably should be H. elegans.

The fact that your question is not very specific may cause some 
reticence in reactions from the polychaete community, maybe you 
should narrow down your request.

NIWA is the trading name of the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research Ltd.

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