Potential for production of ‘mini-mussels’ in Great Belt (Denmark) evaluated on basis of actual and modeled growth of young mussels Mytilus edulis

Hans Ulrik Riisgård, Kim Lundgreen, Poul Scheel Larsen

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The present study is a first step towards evaluation of the potential for line-mussel production in the Great Belt region between the Kattegat and Baltic Sea, Denmark. We present experimental results for actual growth rates of juvenile/adult mussels Mytilus edulis in suspended net bags in terms of shell length and dry weight of soft parts during extended periods (27–80 days) in the productive season in the first 6 series of field experiments, including 4 sites in Great Belt and 2 sites in Limfjorden, Denmark. Data were correlated and interpreted in terms of specific growth rate (μ, % day−1) as a function of dry weight of soft parts (W, g) by a previously developed simple bioenergetic growth model μ = aW −0.34. Results were generally in good agreement with the model which assumes the prevailing average chlorophyll a concentration at field sites to essentially account for the nutrition. Our studies have shown that M. edulis can grow from settlement in spring to 30 mm in shell length in November. We therefore suggest line farming of 30 mm ‘mini-mussels’ during one growth season, recovering all equipment at the time of harvest and re-establishing it with a new population of settled mussel larvae at the beginning of the next season, thus protecting the equipment from the damaging weather of the Danish winter season. The growth behavior during the fall–winter season was recorded in an additional 7th series of mussel growth experiments on farm-ropes to show the disadvantage of this period.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAquaculture International
Pages (from-to)859-885
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Energy budget
  • Bioenergetic growth model
  • Specific growth rate
  • Doubling time
  • Chl a
  • Pelagic biomass
  • Line-mussels


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