Odd creature showing up on Washington's coast

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on February 15, 2013 at 9:56 AM

It started with a few sightings here and there. Now a strange sea creature, a salp, is showing up on beaches and in crab pots up and down the Washington Coast, raising curiosity and concerns.

Adam Miller, the skipper of the crab boat 'Willapa', said he was concerned after one of the gelatinous creatres came up in one of his crab pots.

"I don't know what is; I have never seen one before," said Miller, who added that other crab boat captains are reporting similar experiences.

Beach combers are also reporting them. We were able to find two within a few minutes on a beach in Grayland.

Marine expert Alan rammer said he's received several calls from people asking what they are. He told us they are members of the tunicate family called 'salps' and are a harmless visitor from the South.

At this point, salps are just a curiosity. But if the population increases, commercial crabbers and others are concerned the creatures could affect the local economy and environment.

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