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Effects of shellfish culture and options for sustainable exploitation (ESSENSE).

Objective

The overall objective of the project is to improve the scientific basis for an increased and sustainable exploitation of bivalve resources in the European Community. To this end we want to

- investigate conditions for successful recruitment
- quantify the interaction between filtration, nutrient cycling and hydrodynamics and the consequences for mussel production
- quantify the environmental impact of mussel exploitation for birds, and the impact of birds on mussel stocks
- integrate the obtained knowledge in a model allowing for an optimal exploitation of resources.

METHIODOLGY AND RESEARCH TASKS

The approach consists of a comparative analyses of different mussel culture areas by carrying out field studies, supported by laboratory experiments and integrated into models. Laboratory studies are carried out for quantification of processes that cannot be measured in the field. The models will focus on optimisation of exploitation of an area for mussel culture meanwhile minimising the impact of mussel culture.

The project will be carried out in the following research areas Koljofjord (NW coast of
Sweden), Limfjord (Denmark) and Pertuis Breton (France), Wadden Sea (sites in Germany and the Netherlands) and the Oostersclhelde (SW Netherlands). All investigated areas can be regarded as meso/eutrophic but vary greatly in terms of mixing intensity of the water column. Swedish and Danish fjords have low tidal amplitudes and mixing of the water column is primarily wind driven. In the Waddn Sea, the Oostersclhelde and the Pertuis Breton, mixing of the water column is primarily governed by tidal currants. The areas have in common that there is extensive shellfish exploitation, which is carried out as:
- Off-bottom culture in the fjords (Sweden, Denmark, France) and
- On-bottom culture/fisheries in the Limfjord (DK), Wadden Sea (GER, NL) and Oostersclhelde (NL)

The research tasks are

Task 1. Mussel culture and recruitment success

Sub-tasks
1.1 Mussel larvae and spatfall dynamics
1.2 Spatfall in relation to mussel dredged areas

Task 2. Filtration, nutrient cycling and mussel yield

Sub-tasks:
2.1 Filtration capacity and mussel yield of different culture types
2.2 In situ estimation of feedback's through mussels

Task 3. Predation of mussels by seabirds and interference with mussel fishery

Sub-tasks:
3.1 Effects of mussel resources on seabird populations
3.2 Effects of seabird predation in relation to fishery on mussel populations

Task 4 Integration

Sub-tasks:
4.1 Verification of existing. mussel carrying capacity models for bottom and rope culture sites
4.2 Development of sub-models for the Limfjord experimental area
4.3 Development and validation of a sub-model on bird predation
4.4 Combining sub -models into a dynamic generalised ecosystem model and validation for the different sites

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research
Address
Korringaweg 5
4400 AB Yerseke
Netherlands

Participants (6)

Danish Institute of Fisheries Research
Denmark
Address
Charlottenlund Castle
2920 Charlottenlund
GOETEBORG UNIVERSITY
Sweden
Address
Tjaernoe
SE-45296 Stroemstad
Instituut voor Bos- en Natuuronderzoek
Netherlands
Address
Zuiderhaaks 17
1797 AD 'T Horntje
NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE - MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY
Denmark
Address
399,Frederiksborgvej 399
4000 Roskilde
Niedersachsisches Landesamt fur Okologie
Germany
Address
An Der Muhle 5
26548 Norderney
VKI - Institute for the Water Environment
Denmark
Address
Agern Alle 11
2970 Horsholm