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Mussel Aquaculture and environment

Studies on the environmental impact of blue mussel farming have been conducted over the last four decades; mostly describing impacts in Europe, North, and South America. Areas most described are fjords in general, or the fjords’ innermost parts. Environmental impacts of marine cultivation in regard to its overall impact on the biosphere and ecosystem in designated areas as a whole has been measured for both cultivation in general, and for specific species such as salmon or shellfish. On one hand they distinguish between rearing and breeding, whereby salmon rearing is based on feeding in a designated confined space (Gunnarsson et.al, 2004). On the other hand impacts from blue mussel cultivation are described. Blue mussels feed on natural phytoplankton and the degradation of organic residues that exist in the water. Their impact on the ecosystem is much less than that of fish farms, since in fish farming the animals are fed with artificial feed (Chamberlain et.al, 2001; Crawford et.al, 2003; Gunnarsson et.al, 2004).
The environmental impact of blue mussel farming, however, has been assessed both positively and negatively.