Development of a lighter mussel dredger for blue mussel fishery (38692)

  • Dolmer, Per (Project Manager)
  • Poulsen, Louise K. (Project Participant)
  • Eigaard, Ole Ritzau (Project Participant)

Project Details


Mussel fishery has been identified as a possible treat to fulfilling the aims of habitat protection in specific sites. Also in the Limfjord during the last 10-15 years, the mussel population together with the landings has declined significantly. An explanation for this decline has been that the fishery removes stone and hard substrate reducing recruitment potential for newly-settled mussels.

The project’s aim was to develop a lighter gear for blue mussel dredging that may have lower impact on removal of hard substrate, and be more in line with requirements for habitat protection. The development of this gear will be based on experience and technological innovation in connection with the development of a box-dredger for oyster fishery and by modification of existing gear. International experience from other mussel fisheries will also be incorporated.

This aim was achieved and the lighter gear implemented by mussel fishers. Further, the project documented the environmental impact of the new gear and showed that the lighter mussel dredge had an increased catch efficiency of mussels when compared against the Dutch mussel dredge, whilst the amount of mud stirred was considerably lower. The report concluded that the lighter dredge was therefore less detrimental to the environment than the Dutch dredge, whilst maintaining a high catch per unit effort for mussel fishery.

The project is coordinated by DTU Aqua.

Research area: Shellfish and Seaweed
Effective start/end date01/01/200831/12/2010