SMP-23023 | Increasing resilience of blue mussels in culture

Bert van ReesProject

Projecttitel: Increasing resilience of blue mussels in culture
Projectnummer: SMP-23023
Land: the Netherlands
Looptijd: 2023
Budget: € 40.000
Projectleider: Jildou Schotanus
Kennisinstelling: Wageningen University & Research

Mass mussel mortalities during farming is a growing problem in several European countries. The exact cause of these events is still unclear. It is possible that they are caused by a cumulation of stressors, but there is evidence that they are ultimately triggered by pathogens. The mussel industry is desperately looking for management perspectives to handle these unpredictable negative impacts on their mussel yields. It is therefore of great importance to gain more insight into the cause of these mass mortalities and to investigate possible innovations to minimize mussel die-offs.

This is a challenge, as mussel farming is an extensive industry that largely takes place in nature. There are only a few moments during the farming process when mussel farmers are in direct contact with the animals and can directly affect their resilience by handling them. Optimization of the resilience of mussels to environmental stressors, such as pathogens, and ultimately the increase of mussel yields is key. Therefore, besides gaining more knowledge about the occurrences of mass mortalities of mussels we propose to look into husbandry practices that can improve the resilience of mussels to environmental stressors (such as presence of pathogens).

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