Increasing productivity and reducing visual impact of mussel farms

BIM, the Ardgroom CLAMS group, and local farmers worked together to improve the environment of Ardgroom Bay, with the dual aim of increasing mussel growth and reducing the visual impact of mussel farms.

Project aim: Improve mussel growing environments in Ardgroom Bay

In 2007 mussel farmers in Ardgroom Harbour in County Cork noticed that the growth rates of their mussels had slowed down and it was taking a lot longer to grow the mussels to market size.

BIM’s regional officer, through the local Co-ordinated Local Aquaculture Management System (CLAMS) group, negotiated an agreement between the producers to reduce the stocking in the bay to improve the growth.

Additionally, a way of improving the visual impact of the mussel farms was discussed.

Our methods: Public forums and assisting farmers

BIM provided a forum for local farmers to discuss the problem openly and come to an agreement that was acceptable to all involved parties.

BIM then assisted with the movement of the lines into their new locations and provided grant aid for any farmers who wished to change over from blue to grey barrels to further reduce the visual impact.

Seeing the benefits: Increased production, improved visual impact and future plans

The project saw three key benefits:

  • The density of the lines was reduced to 220m per hectare of licenced area.
  • The growth rates of the mussels improved. They went from taking 20 months to grow to market size, to 12 months.
  • The visual impact was improved by organising the lines so that they are uniformly arranged and by the use of grey barrels.
The project was such a success that CLAMS groups in other areas, such as Killary Harbour, are looking at implementing similar ones in their bays.

Contact Us

To learn more about this project, contact:

Dave Millard

Regional Aquaculture Development Officer (South)

Direct: +353 27 71238

millard@bim.ie