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Mussel culture in British Columbia : the influence of salmon farms on mussel growth and biochemical composition Taylor, Barbara Elan


To realise the potential for mussel culture in British Columbia, mariculture research must identify specific environments and suitable locations which promote maximum growth in mussels. The present study investigates the possible advantages, through nutritional enrichment, of salmon farms as sites for mussel culture. Mussels were cultured at different distances around two salmon farms on the east coast of Vancouver Island (Departure Bay and Genoa Bay). Three parameters of mussel growth: condition index, carbohydrate content, and crude protein content were monitored at 3-6 wk intervals from September 1988 to August 1989. Distinct seasonal differences in growth were observed, but distance from the farm did not substantially influence mussel growth. Adult mortality and larval settlement were similarly unaffected. Contrary to prediction, the farms did not increase available food for mussels. Measures of seston and chlorophyll concentration, made concurrently with the mussel collections, indicated that neither a direct contribution of nutrients in the form of feed and fish faeces, nor an indirect contribution of waste ammonia to augment phytoplankton production, occurred. This was despite currents flowing, at least part of the time, in such a direction as to transport potential nutrients from the farms to the mussels.

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