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Title: Developing science-based management strategies for improving yield of blue mussels, Mytilus Edulis, in benthic cultivation
Author: Calderwood, Julia
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 8910
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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The bottom grown mussel sector has been the most successful component of the aquaculture industry on the island of Ireland in terms of output since. The output from Irish mussel fisheries is however limited and in many areas the on-growing of seed mussels on bottom growing plots is inefficient with harvest to seed ratios falling below 1 :1. If zero mortality of seed occurred during the cultivation process however it has been calculated that a harvest to seed ratio of 8: 1 could be achieved. There is, therefore, a need to investigate aquaculture practices to ensure maximum returns at harvest are achieved from what is a limited natural resource. This thesis investigated how current aquaculture practices affect the survival rate of mussels with the aim to identify practices that ensure maximum yields are achieved from limited seed resources. As such this work investigated whether the process of mussels being transported from wild seed beds to ongrowing plots had a negative effect on the physiological health and resultant behaviour of mussels by simulating transportation conditions in a controlled experiment. Further to this I examined how stress, as induced be periods of extended aerial exposure, may alter the predator-prey relationships between both Carcinus maenas, Asterias rubens and M. edulis. Regardless of the effects of mussel condition and stress on subsequent predation rates C. maenas and, A. rubens have the potential to consume and thus remove a large number of mussels from the benthic cultivation process. The effectiveness of the use of crab pots and starfish mops at removing predators from mussel beds was therefore investigated
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available