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This photo shows Ciona intestinalis, a type of tunicate. Commonly called sea squirts, tunicates are invasive species that negatively impact marine biodiversity. They spread quickly, compete with other creatures for food and space to grow, and attach to molluscs such as mussels. The Canadian fishing industry and seafood processors suffer financial costs and the hassle of removing tunicates from seafood catches, submerged fishing gear, docks and boats. But tunicates may have commercial potential. The Prince Edward Island Seafood Processors Association is working with NRC scientists in Charlottetown to identify promising bioactive compounds in tunicates that could help prevent or manage diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, chronic inflammation and stroke.