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  • Titill er á ensku Co-culture of blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) and sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima) as a strategy to reduce the predation rate of diving ducks on mussel farms in the Cascapedia Bay (QC, Canada)
  • Meistara
  • Mussel farming is a well-established industry in eastern Canada that has become, over the last 45 years, an economical pillar for coastal communities. However, production is not consistent, and many factors such as duck predation can influence profitability. In order to reduce the predation rate of diving ducks on blue mussel (Mytilis edulis) farms in Cascapedia Bay, spools of sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima) and an artificial kelp line were introduced above the mussel’s fertilized rope, aiming to act as a visual shield. The survival rate, thus indirectly the predation rate, was calculated by comparing both treatments at 2 specific times: before the ducks arrival and following their departure. The seaweed yield harvested in June 2017 was significantly lower than regional yield obtained in the past (more than 100 fold difference), with an average yield of 25.3g ± 20.3g▪m-1. While no difference was observed between treatments preceding the ducks arrival in the amount (p>0.1), the weight of mussels per linear meter (p>0.3) and the length (p>0.2), a significant increase of weight of mussels per linear meter (7,0%) in favor of the artificial kelp treatment was found (p= 0.02003) after the ducks departure. Although this experiment is believed to represent a valid starting point to explore the possibility of introducing co-culture as a way to financially protect mussel farmers, it does not represent, as of yet, a profitable solution to protect the lines from predation as the yield was not found to be sufficient to sustain the producers.

  • 1.3.2018

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