Cornwall

Invasive wakame seaweed found on boat hull in Cornwall

Seaweed generic
Image caption Conservations are worried the local ecology could be harmed if the wakame spreads

An invasive Japanese seaweed has been found in Cornwall.

The discovery was made by a member of the public who spotted the wakame kelp on the hull of a boat in the Fal and Helford Special Area of Conservation.

Natural England is working with Cornwall Wildlife Trust to remove the kelp and stop it spreading further and harming local marine ecology systems.

Anyone who sees any more suspect foreign weed is being urged to contact Natural England.

Kevin Cook from Natural England said the seaweed had a very distinctive "frilly" appearance and resembled an "old-fashioned Elizabethan ruff".

"We would ask people not to go ahead and remove it themselves, but to contact someone from Natural England," he told BBC News.

"We don't want people taking all sorts of kelp off the foreshore because they think it might be an invasive one."

Wakame is a popular edible vegetable and is commonly served in soups and salads.

It is also used in oriental medicine and skin care.

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