In the context of the recently finalised ‘Baltic Blue Growth’ project, a conference was organised on 24 April in Malmö, Sweden, that brought together experts from across the Baltic Sea Region, including many representatives from Baltic mussels or mussels-related projects. The day was organised around three sessions, focusing on Science and Technology; Business and Finance; and Outreach.
The presentations are available for download on the conference webpage: https://www.submariner-network.eu/projects/balticbluegrowth/mussels-conference-2019
The conference participants discussed among many other things:
- New data on environmental benefits and ecological impacts of mussel farms in the Baltic Sea
- Nutrient modelling
- Recent advances in Baltic blue catch farming
- Insect- and mussel-based novel feed ingredients
- Blue catch crop farming and implications for Maritime and Coastal Planning
- Financing nutrient catch
The conference was organised by Region Östergötland and the SUBMARINER Network for Blue Growth as well as with support from PAC Bio. The conference, as is the project, was funded by the EURDF. The aim of the conference was to raise awareness on the benefits and opportunities of Baltic mussel production and use, and to establish a Baltic mussel farming Working Group that works to maximise these benefits in the Baltic Sea Region. The latest findings in mussel production and use were presented, incl. project results, solutions and tools, as well as the impacts of technology and recommendations for the future. Special attention was given to the Baltic Blue Growth project, which has established three fully operational mussel farms in the Baltic Sea to counteract eutrophication and create new Blue Growth opportunities.
The conference participants represented academia as well as private companies the most, followed by public authorities and NGOs. For each of the three sessions, the conference organisers made use of an audience interaction tool. Questions that were sent in to this tool were discussed by the presenters of that session. In the Science and Technology session, questions that came in had to do with the Operational Decision Support System (whether it can also be used for other type of farms such as algae – yes), as well as the impacts on the marine environment and the nutrient uptake of the farms. In the second session on Business and Finance, questions were discussed that revolved around the promotion of Baltic ‘cleaning’ mussels and consumer perception of mussels for human consumption, as well as future funding opportunities for Baltic mussel farms. The complete documentation from the audience interaction tool can be found on the conference webpage.