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The Mussel Working Group’s first session of the year

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The first session of the year of the Mussel Working Group was held the past February 21st, 2023. About twenty participants from Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, Germany, and the UK, among others, gathered online for over ninety minutes to discuss different projects that are taking place in the region related to mussel farming, processing, and product development.   

Annette Heiß, from SUBMARINER Network for Blue Growth EEIG, moderated the session. After a warm welcome, some icebreakers to get to know the participants, and giving an overview of the session, Annette began the presentations with a brief talk about Baltic MUPPETS. Baltic MUPPETS is a three-year project funded by the Interregional Innovation Investment (I3) Instrument which aims to create a new value chain for small mussels (1-3 cm) in the Baltic Sea region by developing high-value and healthy pet food products. She provided some context on the current state of mussel farming in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) and its challenges, the project partners, the goals, and the specific objectives of the project, as well as the expected results. Then Joann Makocka, from F6S and partner in Baltic MUPPETS, made a presentation about the open calls and funding opportunities that are part of the project. As part of Baltic MUPPETS, two open calls are considered. The project consortium will identify specific challenges, the calls will cover these aiming to mobilize start-ups and SMEs to get into the market bringing solutions to the sector.   

The potential of mussels is widely recognized, and several actors are currently working on ways to exploit it. Such is the case of the BlueMusselFeed project in Norway. Hilde Schøyen, from Fiskå Mølle AS, talked about the project which aims to establish new raw materials based on mussels to replace imported raw materials used to produce feed for livestock. The project covers the production of mussels, processing of mussel meal, production of formulated feed, feed trials with poultry, and examination of the chicken meat.  

Tim Staufenberger (Kieler Meeresfarm GmbH & Co. KG) talked about UNITED, a Horizon 2020 project focused on ocean multi-use. As part of the project, there are five pilots: Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, and Germany. Kieler Meeresfarm is working on the German pilot where they have mussel and macroalgae cultivation together with wind energy. Tim shared the first results of the pilot and talked about the recent publication of a design and construction plan for the pre-operational phase of the pilots. In it, they share their learnings during this stage.  

As part of the session, there was an open space for pitches and discussion. Shannon Hanson talked about her project ReefCircular, a start-up that produces artificial reefs made of bioconcrete. The bioconcrete is formed by algae-grown glue, shell dust, and shell aggregate. The plan is to 3D print their formula into tailor-made structures customized depending on the target ecosystem. To know more about their project, visit their Instagram profile @ReefCircular. The session concluded with the participation of Jessica Vacklid from MusselFeed. She gave a spontaneous pitch where she talked about their company which produces mussels and processes them into mussel meal which is then sold as an ingredient for other food products and as sea seasoning.  

Stay tuned for the next session of the Mussel Working Group, which will take place in mid-May 2023.  

For more information, contact Annette Heiß (