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Mussel farming in the Baltic Sea Region

Over the past years, numerous measures have been implemented to decrease the external nutrient load to the Baltic Sea. However, nutrient levels have not declined in accordance with the reduced input, likely due to high internal loading. With the aim of tackling eutrophication, additional sea-based measures have been introduced, such as mussel farming that can reduce in a more direct way internal loading.

Mussel farming has proved to be one of the best technologies for recycling nutrients and improving water quality, including nutrient uptake and increase of water clarity, and politically, it is considered a measure supported by the European Commission for battling eutrophication. Additionally, mussel aquaculture provides means for nutrient recycling, thereby addressing the global use of P and N, which both have passed the “planetary boundary”.

In this scenario, mussels provide a new sustainable, local biomass resource for numerous applications. However, despite major advancements and widespread support, it is still necessary to turn the small, farmed Baltic mussels into revenue that lays the foundation for an economically sustainable business.