Scientists think that it’s possible to produce shellfish seed and larvae more cheaply. In the REPROSEED project they are studying how to do so for scallops, Japanese oysters, mussels and the European clam.
Growers and researchers are getting better and better at hatching and raising shellfish seed and larvae. But the process remains expensive: breeding mussels in a hatchery is still far more expensive than harvesting seed from the Wadden Sea. For Japanese oyster, scallop and the European clam the process is cheaper, but there’s still room for improvement.
In a large European research project, scientists are therefore searching for techniques that will make seed and larvae production more efficient and cheaper. One group is trying to reduce mortality in larvae by making sure the water used does not support pathogenic bacteria. A second group is looking at which shellfish genotypes are most suited to aquaculture. A third group is studying whether shellfish can also be raised in a recirculation system; until now the bio-filter has kept algae out, but algae are a source of food for shellfish. A fourth group is trying to see whether continuous culture outside can make algae growing more commercial. Wageningen Aquaculture is responsible for the last two research groups.
A total of ten European institutes and two hatcheries are involved in REPROSEED.
For more information please visit the REPROCEED website.