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Title: Sustainable management of Mytilus edulis seed resources in Northern Ireland
Author: McMinn, Carrie Louise
ISNI:       0000 0001 3625 8909
Awarding Body: Queen's University of Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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The bottom mussel industry in Northern Ireland is threatened by a number of issues arising due to overfishing and variable settlement success of mussel seed. Investigations on the Skullmartin mussel seed bed showed ~gative impacts of dredging. However, as Skullmartin is a sink: for mussel larvae, fishing ofthe bed is likely to be sustainable as long as the source ofthe larvae is maintained. The biodiversity of Skullmartin was adversely affected by dredging. Species richness and diversity decreased after dredging. However, these effects were short-lived, with species richness recovering once dredging had ceased. The transport ofstarfish from seed. bed to relaying site is a problem facing all bottom mussel growers. The mostefficient method to reduce the transport of starfish is to submerge the contents ofthe hold with freshwater. This led to 100 % mortality of starfish after 12 hours. Desiccation ofstarfish, which is used in the 1'.Torthern Ireland industry, was found to be inefficient as it required 48 hours to cause 100 % mortality, with . large mussel mortality also occurring after this time. As mussel seed is a limited resource it is imperative that it is managed efficiently. Relaying trials found that although meat content and shell length are adversely affected by an increasing relaying density, it is the marketable yield which is most affected, ,with a density of75 tha-l exceeding the carrying capacity of the study site. Spat collectors, were examined as a sustainable source ofmussel seed. Peaks in settlement appeared in the summer and Belfast Lough was found to have a significantly larger settlement than Carlingford Lough due to the larger coverage of licensed mussel relaying plot in Belfast Lough which can directly attribute to the larval supply in the Lough.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available