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To investigate sustainable biological carrying capacities of key European coastal zones


This project deals with the characterisation of the carrying capacity of key European coastal zones for commercial production of bivalve shellfish. The research is designed to produce powerful tools, which would enable shellfish producers in the targeted are as to optimise production capacity, recruitment of young stock, and quality whilst reducing waste. The research consists of 5 inter-dependent TECHNICAL workpackages: Historical Data Collection: Objectives are the collection and storage of historical data that describe environmental parameters and processes at each culture environment (Loch Creran-UK, Eastern Scheldt - Netherlands and SE Waterford-Ireland), including the physiology and culture practise for each main shellfish species cultured in those environments.

Field Work: Objectives are to measure
(i) temporal and spatial variations in the environmental parameters that act as forcing functions driving our simulations of shellfish growth and ecosystem processes (e.g. food availability, light, temperature)
(ii) physiological responses required to parameterise the generic physiological model for each shellfish species, and
(iii) natural shellfish growth and ecosystem variables (e.g. chlorophyll) that will be used to calibrate and validate the models Ecosystem scale modelling: Objectives are to describe and predict carrying capacity, using ecological modelling.

Ecosystem models with variable spatial resolution will be used, in order to combine hydrodynamics, biogeochemistry and shellfish population dynamics for multi-year simulation. The specific objectives, for each culture environment (Loch Creran UK, Waterford estuary Ireland, Eastern Scheldt Netherlands), are:
(a) To integrate external forcing from watershed and coast in ecosystem scale models;
(b) To simulate the major internal processes responsible for energy flow; and
(c) To describe and predict growth for relevant cultivated species; at resolutions that are adequate for fisheries and resource management

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EU contribution
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Horries Deerness
United Kingdom

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Participants (13)