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The Social and Community Effects of Salmon Farming and Rearing

NZIER report on the economic contribution of marine farming in the Marlborough region

Provision of ecological and ecosystem services by mussel farming in the Marlborough Sounds

Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

THE BLUE MUSSEL PROJECT: Research into a solution to the oversettlement of blue mussels.
90 MILE BEACH PROJECT: Research to assess the quality and viability of spat before it leaves Kaitaia.
MARINE FARM COMPLIANCE: Marine farm compliance audit partnership programme
Pelorus Mussel Restoration Project

Summary - August 2019

Last century parts of the Marlborough Sounds, especially Pelorus Sound, had
extensive wild mussel beds. Widespread harvesting wiped out the beds in the
1990’s and they have not since recovered. Understanding how these mussel
beds might be restored, and what the benefits might be, is the focus of a three
year research project led by the Marine Farming Association, with expert input
from the University of Auckland and NIWA.
Research in the Hauraki Gulf has found that wild mussel beds provide many
ecological benefits, such as improving fish abundance, diversity and sediment
stabilisation. Similar results are expected for the Marlborough Sounds, and
establishing more wild mussels may also increase the local spat supply.
The success of this project will rely on the continued support of industry,
including knowledge and advice, help with mussels and logistics, and cash
contributions. The indicated contributions from MFA and industry have been used
to leverage an additional $450,000 of contributions to support the project from
the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), The Nature Conservancy, the University
of Auckland and NIWA.
Funding from MPI’s Sustainable Farming Fund ($398,000) has recently been
contracted by the MFA, and agreements with the research partners are being
finalised at present.
Work has begun on preparing a detailed research plan which is based around
three sets of experimental deployments of mussels over three years and the
subsequent monitoring of their performance and associated environmental
effects. The research includes the use of returning mussel shell material to the
seabed to stabilise soft sediment prior to establishing mussel beds overtop. In
addition, methods for enhancing natural recruitment to establish and maintain
new mussel beds will be investigated.
The first phase of the project is beginning in September and will involve the
selection and baseline survey of suitable sites for the mussel restoration
experiments. The selected sites will be supplied with mussels as soon as
possible, possibly by the end of the year.
Two trainee scientists will be working on the project full time for the three years,
supported by scientific expertise and equipment from University of Auckland and
NIWA, and the Australian arm of The Nature Conservancy.
The detailed research plan will be discussed and approved by the MFA, and all
subsequent reporting on the project will come to the MFA and will be shared
through presentations at the AGM, and regular updates through the MFA
Newsletter. The MFA is also developing a governance group to oversee and
facilitate the implementation of the project.
If you would like to be involved in the restoration project in any way, please
contact Ned Wells on 03 578 5043 or 027 255 2069.



October 2019 - Update

November 2019 - Update

December 2019 - Update

January 2020 - Update

February 2020 - Update

March 2020 - Update

April 2020 - Update

May 2020 - Update



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