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Mussels hitch ride to BC

A sea creature unfamiliar in Canadian waters has hitchhiked its way across the Pacific ocean on a piece of suspected tsunami debris from Japan's 2011 earthquake.

The federal fisheries department has identified a non-indigenous mussel on one piece of wreckage believed to have drifted to B.C. after the devastating Japanese tsunami.

The department says at this time it hasn't conducted a full risk-assessment for the species, called mytilus coruscus.

A scientific paper published by the International Journal of Molecular Sciences says the mussel is one of the most important marine shellfish species in Korea.

B.C.'s ministry of the environment says the greatest risk for major debris has now passed, with the overall volume of trash arriving along the western shoreline lower than anticipated.

Japan's government gave the federal government $1 million to be shared among West Coast organizations, First Nations and municipal governments for cleaning up debris after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

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