June 2019
10 June 2019

 Mediterranean fanworm is a large, tube-dwelling worm. It is the largest fanworm in New Zealand with its body measuring up to 20mm wide and 800mm long. It has a prominent crown of feeding tentacles that extend out of the tube and can be 150mm wide. The crown is often banded orange, purple or white. The tubes are leathery, flexible and muddy-looking, they are generally found on hard sub-tidal structures, but can also be buried up to 10cm deep in soft substrates.

It has been our job this month to remove these worms from some mussel farm lines.  They can look very pretty as they sway in the ocean, but once on board they soon change to the 'ugly stick like' items you see in the photo.  Removing these from the lines is a labour intensive task that require great care not to further infect the waters the divers are working in. Working within MPI guidelines ensures that our staff follow strict procedures and  that the waters are not getting futher infected in the removal process.