Mussel production as a nutrient mitigation tool for improving marine water quality

Karen Timmermann*, Marie Maar, Karsten Bolding, Janus Larsen, Jørgen Windolf, Pernille Nielsen, JK Petersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Longline mussel farming has been proposed as a tool to remove nutrients and counteract the negative effects of eutrophication in coastal waters. In this study, we use coupled 3D hydrodynamic and ecological modelling in combination with measurements from a full-scale mitigation farm to assess the environmental effects of mitigation cultures in Skive Fjord, Denmark, a shallow eutrophic estuary. The results show that mitigation cultures decrease chl a concentration and increase Secchi depth especially in the surroundings of the farms but also on a basin scale. Fecal production by the mussels increases sedimentation below the farms but reduces ambient sedimentation, resulting in a net decrease in sedimentation of organic material on a basin scale. Comparisons with nutrient load reduction scenarios indicate that nutrient removal by mitigation cultures have a higher short-term impact on water quality parameters (chl a, Secchi depth and sedimentation) than nutrient removal using land-based measures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAquaculture Environment Interactions
Pages (from-to)191-204
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Eutrophication
  • Mussel culture
  • Nutrients
  • Modelling
  • DEB model
  • Water quality indicators


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