Principal investigator: Jonne Kotta, jonne.kotta [ät] ut.ee
Duration of the project: 2016 May – 2019 April
Project type: R&D project
Finace program: Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme
Budget: 382 389,30 EUR
Baltic Blue Growth Initiation of full scale mussel farming in the Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is facing many challenges; one of the most serious problems is the eutrophication. The objective of Baltic Blue Growth (BBG) is to remove nutrients from the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) by farming and harvesting blue mussels. This may be a standalone measure to counteract eutrophication but can also become a business for the feed industry and be used in symbiosis with fishfarms, so called IMTA (Integrated MultiTrophic Aquaculture). The mussels themselves are less appropriate for human consumption mainly due to the small size and can instead be used in the feed industry and replace i.e. imported fish and soybean meal. Previous projects have shown that mussel farming in the Baltic Sea is feasible and beneficial to the environment. This project aims to proceed from pilot stage to real cases and build up an awareness and capacity concerning blue growth and mussel farming among private and public sector. The project will follow 4 focus farms and 2 test farms where environmental, legal, commercial and maritime spatial planning (MSP) issues are clarified. The partners cover the essential target groups needed for such a wide range of interest and competence areas such as mussel farmers, authorities, related associations, research organisations and commercial partners.
The main outputs of the project will be models and functional decision support tool based on environmental data collated from focus farms. Further outputs are 4 fully operational mussel farms which contribute to business plans and manuals for mussel farmers in general. Different technology for farming mussels in BSRconditions will be tested and collated. Status report on legislation issues for mussel farming will be conducted. The project will also give recommendations for harmonized methodology in Maritime Spatial Planning and possible compensation measures. These outputs will be used by maritime spatial planners, potential mussel farmers and investors, fish farmers, technology provider, coastal population, international organisations and strategies (i.e. HELCOM, Baltic Sea Action Plan, EU strategy for the Baltic Sea Region etc.), regulatory authorities, policymakers, national and international bodies responsible for marine environment.
By the end of the project the aim is to have developed mussel meal for animal feed, going through the whole chain from mussel farmers, technique providers, logistic solutions via a well worked through design for the mussel meal production line to finally have approved tests on animals for using mussel meal as a feed ingredient.
By the Baltic Blue Growth project we expect to make a change in the Baltic Sea Region whereas mussels will be considered as an efficient way for counteracting eutrophication, a compensation scheme will be accepted for the ecosystem service provided by the mussels, mussel farming will be an attractive market for entrepreneurs to enter and mussel meal will be produced as ingredient in animal feed.
Information in ETIS