Dredging of blue mussels ( Mytilus edulis L.) in a Danish sound: stock sizes and fishery-effects on mussel population dynamic

Per Dolmer, Per Sand Kristensen, Erik Hoffmann

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In April 1993, 1994 and 1995 the abundance of blue mussels, Mytilus edulis L., was estimated in Limfjorden, Denmark. The stocks were assessed by using a down-scaled model of a commercial mussel dredge which efficiency was analysed by comparing its samples with others collected by diver. The mean dredge efficiency was 17%. The fishing area in Limfjorden (700 km(2)) is divided into 22 fishery zones and mussel stock size was calculated for each zone. From April 1993 to April 1994 the total stock size declined from 771 000 to 616 000 t. In the same period, the exploitation rate in the fishery was 14% of the 1993 stock, and the size of mussel landings from each zone significantly correlated with their change in stock. In April 1995, the total mussel stock was reduced to 494 000 t. The mean exploitation rate in 1994-1995 was 15%. No correlation was observed between the size of mussel landings and the change in the mussel stock. In summer 1994, there was a long period of oxygen depletion in parts of Limfjorden. This caused mortality of 33% of the mussels in the affected areas. In fishery zones without oxygen depletion a 46% increase in the mussel stocks was estimated. The massive loss of blue mussels caused by oxygen depletion exceeds the annual landings of mussels from the fishery. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
JournalFisheries Research
Volume40
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)73-80
ISSN0165-7836
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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