Blue mussel farming in the Baltic Sea

Cover1The current issue of ‘Coastal & Marine’ informs about research results on blue mussel farming for nutrient removal in the Baltic Sea.

Low salinity and harsh weather conditions have together with low regional interest in mussel products prevented a development of mussel farming in the Baltic Sea. But as the goals for environmental quality in the Baltic coastal zone have still not been met, the ecosystem services provided by mussel farming become a potential important tool for mitigation of the effects of nutrient enrichment. Combined with an increasing demand for the valuable protein source that blue mussels are both for human consumption and as a feed ingredient, mussel farming has potential also in the Baltic area.
This issue of the EUCC magazine ‘Coastal & Marine’ presents in a brief and popular form a synthesis of what has been already learned. Mainly based on case study sites in Denmark, Sweden and Germany the authors report on e.g. optimal production modes, how to quantify the possible positive and adverse effects of mussel farming on ecosystems and how best to integrate mussel farming into coastal maritime spatial planning.

The magazine was created by the project BONUS OPTIMUS – ‘Optimization of mussel mitigation cultures for fish feed in the Baltic Sea’ that has received funding from BONUS (Art 185), funded jointly by the EU and Baltic Sea national funding institutions.

Link: https://eucc-d-inline.databases.eucc-d.de/files/documents/00001226_coastalandmarine_2019-1.pdf

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Floating islands provide a nesting habitat for birds

Already one month after floating macrophyte island installations, we found a mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) nest on one of the constructed island in Juodkrante (Curonian national park, Lithuania). This underlines the multiple offers by floating islands: In addition to water restoration floating wetlands provide habitats for aquatic and terrestrial fauna protected from predators.

If you want to know more about all installed islands in the project LiveLagoons, check out this short video! More general information about the project you can find here.

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The beginning of a great adventure

Klaipėda University and Curonian national park administration started preparation works for pilot installations in Juodkrantė within the project LiveLagoons. This year two floating islands will be installed at Juodkrantė – one at so called 14th kilometer bay and the other at Amber bay. Both islands are produced by external supplier Biomatrix Waters Solutions with special attention to natural materials which are non-toxic and fully recyclable. Floating islands will be planted with native and local plants, which root system will uptake nutrients to reduce sediment concentration. Before planting, local plants are dug and moved to temporary nursery. The selection of plant species was prepared by university’s botanist Raimonda Ilginė in collaboration with Curonian national park administration. Plant species were specifically selected for different type of installations (net type, island or barrier type, coastal panel – erosion prevention) to improve and support both restoration and rehabilitation of coastal habitats and local enhancement of water quality. Plants for island / barrier type installation in Amber bay are selected not only for they ability to absorb but also to form decorative flowering and foliage (Common rush, Narrowleaf cattail, Moneywort, Sweet flag, Yellow loosestrife, Flowering rush, Nodding beggartick etc.).

The islands in Juodkrante will be installed at the beginning of May.

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Cultural heritage in fishing communities

The transregional exchange about the improvement of regional development policies to protect and promote cultural heritage in fishing communities is going on: The second Interregional Learning and Exchange of Experience Event (ILEEE) took place on 27th and 28th March in Paphos, Cyprus. CHERISH (Creating opportunities for regional growth through promoting Cultural HERitage of fISHing communities in Europe) project partners and stakeholders from all participating regions joined the meeting and took the opportunity to get an impression of the situation in Cyprus and to exchange their knowledge. The event was hosted by the Development Co. Paphos Aphrodite Ltd (ANETPA). An article and more information about the ILEEE are here available. The next project meeting and ILEEE will take place in Abruzzo at the Italian Adriatic coast in July 2019.

Please also check the CHERISH webpage for more information about the project and the past events and stay tuned via our YouTube and Twitter channel, our newsletter or the EUCC-D webpage.

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The main objective of CHERISH is to improve regional development policies to protect and promote cultural heritage in fishing communities. Fishery communities in the EU share the same challenges with regard to climate change, tourism pressure and the transformation of the European fishing industry. The EU recognizes the valuable role of the cultural heritage for sustainable development and stimulates increased efforts to better position and profile the fishing communities, including their intangible heritage, like myths to daily practices, traditions, ecological knowledge and crafts. Interregional cooperation and policy learning will allow exchange of experiences on the development of policy for the protection and promotion of cultural heritage in fishing communities.

Duration: 06/2018 – 05/2023

Funding: Interreg Europe Programme 2014-2020, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

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Installation of modified islands

Before starting Easter holidays we installed the improved versions of floating islands in Born (Germany) within the LiveLagoons project. Nice flowering macrophytes like purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus) were choosen, but also sedges (Carex acutiformis) and rushes (Schoenoplectus lacustris) were planted. The macrophytes were pre-grown on coconut coir fibers mats.

Both installed islands differ from each other within the floating structure: One island’s floating matrix is made out of thermowood. The other island is made of a stainless steel mesh which is filled with dry reed stems and hollow stainless steel buoys enhance the buoyancy effect. Both versions help to avoid plastic utilization.

Let’s wish our installations strength to survive sometimes harsh environmental conditions. We cannot wait to see them blooming in the summer!

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Two events in one week by LiveLagoons

Since 1993, the UN’s World Water Day has been celebrated annually on the 22th March to raise awareness about the importance of fresh water for all living beings. The week surrounding this day was a perfect time to present the opportunities that floating wetlands offer for nutrient removal in eutrophicated coastal waters.

One possibility to boost nutrient removal in these areas is the combined use of floating wetlands and mussel cultivation. Both macrophytes and mussels take up nutrients and incorporate them into their biomass increasing the total nutrient removal from the water. During the cross-border and cross-project stakeholder workshop about “Mussel cultivation and water quality” (together with the projects BONUS OPTIMUS and Baltic Blue Growth) in Rostock-Warnemuende (Germany), the possibility to combine both systems was discussed.

The LiveLagoons project (and BONUS OPTIMUS and Morpheus project) was further presented at the external event of the State Agency for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Geology (Germany). At the symposium, stakeholders from politics, research, authorities and environmental associations came together to exchange the latest developments about marine protection and control, impacts on the sea and the usage of the sea.

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LiveLagoons Policy Brief #2 out now!

The second LiveLagoons Policy Brief is now online. In general, policy brief #2 deals with nutrient removal by floating wetlands. The results of absorbed nutrients from our pilot wetland in Germany give a more detailed inside. Additionally, recommendations highlight how the nutrient removal efficiency can be maximized.

The main aim of the policy briefs is to reach interested coastal municipalities around the Baltic Sea which would like to improve their local water quality using macrophytes. Policy brief #1 gave general information about floating wetlands and remediation of eutrophication. The next policy brief #3 will cover aspects about the biodiversity of floating wetlands.

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