Action: Use alternative means of getting mussel seeds rather than dredging from natural mussel beds
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- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of using alternative means of getting mussel seeds rather than dredging from natural mussel beds on subtidal benthic invertebrate populations.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this intervention during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore, we have no evidence to indicate whether or not the intervention has any desirable or harmful effects.
Mussel seeds (young mussels) used in aquaculture are often collected from areas of the seabed where the mussels naturally occur, using dredges. This can be a damaging harvest method, leading to mussel depletion and other negative impacts on other invertebrate species associated with mussel beds due to the impact from the dredge. Alternative means of collecting mussel seeds exist, such as using artificial collectors, or producing seeds in hatchery facilities, rather than dredging from natural beds (Fuentes et al. 1998; Maguire et al. 2008). Using such alternative collection methods can potentially help reduce dredging pressure and associated threats to subtidal benthic invertebrates.
Fuentes J., Molares J. & Villalba A. (1998) Growth, mortality and parasitization of mussels cultivated in the Rı́a de Arousa (NW Spain) from two sources of seed: intertidal rocky shore vs. collector ropes. Aquaculture, 162, 231–240.
Maguire J.A., Knights A.M., O'Toole M., Burnell G., Crowe T.P., Ferns M., McDonough N., McQuaid N., O'Connor B., Doyle R. & Newell C. (2008) Management recommendations for sustainable exploitation of mussel seed in the Irish Sea. Marine Environment and Health Series, 31.