Blue mussels aquaculture challenges explained


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Bivalve species like oysters, mussels, manila and hard shell clams can survive for extended periods out of water and can be traded for human consumption as live animals. The primary aim of capturing, holding and transporting live mussels is to deliver them to markets in the best possible condition. Mussels will be exposed to some level of stress during all or part of the trade chain. Stress can be defined as any factor (either external or internal) causing a physiological disturbance to the mussels. In the live mussel industry these factors include capture, de-clumping, fluctuating temperatures, sunlight and other bright lights, wind or drafts, handling and physical damage, poor water quality during holding, conditioning and purification. Mussels are generally able to recover from such stresses, however if any or a combination of those stresses are sufficiently intense, then poor quality (broken shells, gaping, unpleasant smell) or dead mussels will result.The MusselsAlive project aim is to keep mussels alive through the trade chain, by improving good practices and introducing new technology.

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  • You could think that depuration is about giving the mussels the same conditions that they have in seawater, the location where they were harvested from. Actually the overriding premise in the depuration of bivalve molluscs is to create the conditiosn to elicitate the removal of the contents of the digestive tract into the water system holding the animals and to ensure the resultant faeces and any pseudofaeces remain separated from the bivalves for the duration of immersion. This is done by controlling the environmental parameters of the water such that the animal‟s metabolism is raised to a point were the deposition of faeces increases without exhausting the animal to such and extent that it dies prior to consumption.
  • Blue mussels aquaculture challenges explained

    1. 1. Mussels Development of best practice and new technology for grading, handling, transportation, Alive conditioning and storage of mussels for SMEs in the European mussel industry
    2. 2. Mussels can survive for extendedperiods out of water and aretraded for human consumption aslive animals
    3. 3. The increased production andthe development of rapidground and air transport haveimproved the supply of liveproduct to marketsworldwide
    4. 4. However, live marketingis a complex issue
    5. 5. Following harvest, cultured musselsare washed, declumped, andgraded by size
    6. 6. After grading and if bacterialoads in the harvesting area areabove the legislated level,mussels must also be eitherre-layed depurated
    7. 7. Shellfish harvested from polluted areas can be placed in clean areas (areas free ofRelaying microbiological contamination) to allow shellfish to cleanse or purge themselves
    8. 8. Boost Filtering ActivityClean water Avoid Depuration recontamination re-watering process in clean water that promotes the purging of some bacteria from the mussels.
    9. 9. Boost Filtering ActivityClean water Avoid Depuration recontamination re-watering process in clean water that promotes the purging of some bacteria from the mussels.
    10. 10. ...after being relayed or depurated mussels are onceagain declumped, debyssed andthen packed and transported
    11. 11. Transport out of watercan take between 24 and48 hours
    12. 12. Once out of water musselsgape and loose water Gaping mussel Gaping mussel
    13. 13. So in every step of the live trademussels face challenges thatcan lead to mortality 1 Physical damage Grading & Handling
    14. 14. Holding & Conditioning 2Poor WaterQuality
    15. 15. Storage 3 4Air exposure Fluctuating temperatures Transport
    16. 16. In this project we investigated every critical point Holding & Storage Conditioning Poor Water Quality 1 2 3 4 Air exposurePhysicaldamage Fluctuating temperatures Transport Grading & Handling
    17. 17. For further information please visit our site at
    18. 18. This presentation was developed with the support of the European Commissionthrough the Collaborative Research Project MusselsAlive : Development of bestPractice and new technology for grading, handling, transportation, conditioningand storage of mussels for SMEs in the European mussel industry“by Sara for Sustainable Aquatic Researchhttp://www.aquaculturewales.comSwansea UniversitySingleton ParkSwansea, SA2 8PP