Initiating full scale mussel farming
in the Baltic Sea
Cultivating and harvesting blue mussels in the Baltic Sea can substantially improve the water quality as mussels take up nutrients through their food intake. At the same time, it can contribute to blue growth by providing new business models for the feed industry, which can use mussel meal as an ingredient in animal feed, replacing e.g. imported fish and soybean meal.
Mussel farming in the Baltic Sea has so far not gone beyond experimental scale.
To build up a commercially viable mussel farming value chain, it is not only necessary to develop suitable farming techniques for Baltic Sea conditions, but also to develop accepted mechanisms to compensate the ecosystem services provided by mussel farming.
What we want to achieve
Our aim is to advance mussel farming in the Baltic Sea from experimental to full scale. More specifically, we want to achieve…
- …the recognition of blue mussels as an efficient way of counteracting eutrophication, complementing legally required source-related measures,
- …acceptance of a compensation scheme for the ecosystem service provided by the mussels,
- …the establishment of mussel farming as an attractive market for entrepreneurs,
- …the production of mussel meal as an ingredient in animal feed.
Outputs to be produced
To pave the way for full-scale mussel farming, the project partners will clarify environmental, legal and regulatory aspects of mussel farming.
Based on data and experiences collected at the fully operational mussel farms to be established by Baltic Blue Growth, the project’s main outputs will include:
- Models and functional decision support tools on suitable farming sites and their production potential,
- Business plans and farming manuals for large scale mussel farms,
- A demonstration line for processing mussels into fish and poultry feed,
- A guide on licensing processes for mussel farming in the Baltic Sea Region,
- Recommendations on harmonised maritime spatial planning and ecosystem service compensation measures.