There is a great need for innovative solutions in the production of food and other products from the marine environment. Innovative solutions are necessary to answer the increasing demand for marine food, biomass, high value products, and tackle the resulting increase in pressure on natural resources and the current intensification of environmental sustainability requirements.

Shellfish and seaweed production have great potential in Denmark, both from the nutrient-rich and productive Danish coastal ecosystems, and the very high water quality that has resulted from major investments/improvements in wastewater treatment.

Research activities at the Danish Shellfish Centre actively focus on innovation in different areas:

Mussel Fishing

Regarding the mussel fishery, the Danish Shellfish Centre focuses on the development, implementation and efficiency of bottom culture production, where mussels are laid out or moved from one area to another to improve and ensure the best growth.

Cultivation of mussels and seaweed

For mussel cultivation, the Danish Shellfish Centre focuses on developing more cost effective  and reliable methods for mussel cultivation in fjords, while for seaweed, focus is on efficiency in all parts of the cultivation process.

Hatching techniques for oysters and seaweed

Breeding of high-value bivalves, such as oysters, has great potential both for the restoration of natural populations and production purposes. The Danish Shellfish Centre focuses on the production of bivalve spat in hatcheries, especially the European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis), with subsequent out-growth in the natural habitat, which is the most realistic form of production.

Also the production of seaweed such as sugar kelp (Laminaria saccharina) and dulse (Palmaria Palmata) depends on land-based crop production. It therefore requires innovation in hatchery techniques and methods for managing planted stocks.

A hatchery-based production of conventional and new shellfish species and seaweed depends on the specialized and dedicated research infrastructures, and thus the Danish Shellfish Centre is building a new state-of-the-art hatchery for multi-species use.  

Mussels and seaweed as mitigation cultures

The major problem of eutrophication of coastal waters, due to high-intensity agricultural and animal farming practices,  provide a real-life potential application of mussel and seaweed farming as mitigation cultures for the removal of farming-derived nutrients from coastal waters.

Profitable utilization of mitigation cultures requires innovation on several levels:

  • Development of cultivation methods that are as cost effective as the land-based methods or with other types of food, protein sources or biomass.

  • Development of the utilization and processing of compensatory crops, primarily grown for the removal of nutrients from coastal ecosystems.

  • Development of management principles and guidelines.
7 JULY 2020