Forms of aquaculture

Why aquaculture


Which specie

Problems associated with aquaculture

Cultivating molluscs

Cultivating blue mussels

Cultivation methods

Problems associated with mussel cultivation


Poisonous mussels?



The cultivation of blue mussels

Blue mussels in a mussel farm.

Mussel growth occurs mainly between March and December and is dependant on the availability of food in the surrounding water. Food sources can be the result of local production or brought to the mussel by water currents. If the speed of water currents is too low or is poor in nutrients, there is a risk that the mussel declines in weight because so much energy is used to filter out the few nutrients that are in the water.
    The blue mussel reaches its maximum size (approx. 10cm) in salinities of about 3-3,5%. It is very adaptable and can live in varying salinities, but this requires energy and results in mussels usually being smaller in size with lower saline content, for example in the Baltic, where mussels are seldom larger than 4cm. It was earlier thought that the blue mussel grew best in water temperatures between 10 - 20°C, but research has shown that the ocurrence of nutrients is by far the most important factor and that it can filter and grow in water temeratures down to -1°C.
    A mussel farm needs an area that is pollution free as they easily absorb poisons and pollutants. The same area should also have adequate protection against large waves and ice movements. Even if an area in the outer archipelagos usually means a secure source of nutrients and fewer pollutants, exposure to current and wave action poses often too much stress and strain on the equipment.
    Blue mussels in Sweden are commonly harvested in November-December when they are about 1½ years old. If they are allowd to be older there is a notable increase in the growth of other organisms on the mussels.


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Bo Johannesson | Martin Larsvik | Lars-Ove Loo | Helena Samuelsson