Cleaning up seas using blue growth initiatives: Mussel farming for eutrophication control in the Baltic Sea

Kotta, Jonne, Futter, Martyn, Kaasik, Ants, Liversage, Kiran, Rätsep, Merli, Barboza, Francisco Rafael, Bergström, Lena, Bergström, Per, Bobsien, Ivo, Díaz, Eliecer, Herkül, Kristjan, Jonsson, Per R., Korpinen, Samuli, Kraufvelin, Patrik, Krost, Peter, Lindahl, Odd, Lindegarth, Mats, Lyngsgaard, Maren Moltke, Mühl, Martina, Sandman, Antonia Nyström, Orav-Kotta, Helen, Orlova, Marina, Skov, Henrik, Rissanen, Jouko, Šiaulys, Andrius, Vidakovic, Aleksandar and Virtanen, Elina (2020) Cleaning up seas using blue growth initiatives: Mussel farming for eutrophication control in the Baltic Sea Science of the Total Environment, 709 . Art.Nr. 136144. DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.136144.

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Eutrophication is a serious threat to aquatic ecosystems globally with pronounced negative effects in the Baltic and other semi-enclosed estuaries and regional seas, where algal growth associated with excess nutrients causes widespread oxygen free “dead zones” and other threats to sustainability. Decades of policy initiatives to reduce external (land-based and atmospheric) nutrient loads have so far failed to control Baltic Sea eutrophication, which is compounded by significant internal release of legacy phosphorus (P) and biological nitrogen (N) fixation. Farming and harvesting of the native mussel species (Mytilus edulis/trossulus) is a promising internal measure for eutrophication control in the brackish Baltic Sea. Mussels from the more saline outer Baltic had higher N and P content than those from either the inner or central Baltic. Despite their relatively low nutrient content, harvesting farmed mussels from the central Baltic can be a cost-effective complement to land-based measures needed to reach eutrophication status targets and is an important contributor to circularity. Cost effectiveness of nutrient removal is more dependent on farm type than mussel nutrient content, suggesting the need for additional development of farm technology. Furthermore, current regulations are not sufficiently conducive to implementation of internal measures, and may constitute a bottleneck for reaching eutrophication status targets in the Baltic Sea and elsewhere.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Aquaculture; Blue growth; Eutrophication control; Internal measures; Mussel farming; Baltic Sea
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-B Experimental Ecology - Benthic Ecology
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.136144
ISSN: 0048-9697
Projects: BONUS MARES, Baltic Blue Growth, Baltic EcoMussel, SmartSea project, OPTIMUS
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2020 10:19
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2020 10:19

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