Expected results of BONUS OPTIMUS


The BONUS OPTIMUS project is expected to result in scientific documentation on ecosystem goods and services as well as environmental impact of mussel farming to support its future expansion.

Expected project results

Documentation of environmental goods and services provided by mussel farming

Primary focus will be to document the environmental goods and services provided by mussel farming in addition to nutrient extraction. Through measurements using the newest technology and modelling, the impact of mussel farms on key indicators in the Water Framework Directive such as Chl. a concentration and proxies like water clarity and nutrient concentration will be demonstrated. The models will provide maps of impact magnitude and scales and will be used to demonstrate the feasibility of using mussel mitigation cultures in different environments.

Together with the analysis of different schemes for payment of ecosystem services, calculations of total costs and profits for mussel farms under different policies and a valorization of the changes in the ecosystem services, BONUS OPTIMUS will deliver solid documentation for the use of mussel farming as a tool for mitigation of excess load of nutrients to the Baltic Sea but also on other goods and services provided by mussel farming.

Documentation for use of mussel meal as ingredient in fish feed

BONUS OPTIMUS will further provide documentation for the use of mussel meal as an ingredient in fish feed thereby providing an alternative sustainable protein source to e.g. imported soybean or fishmeal. The project will both develop new cost efficient processing as well as test of the product.

Assessment of constraints for mussel farming in the Baltic

The project will assess constraints for the development of mussel farming in the Baltic, e.g. local sediment impact of mussel farming underneath the farms, including verification of easy-to-use kits for assessment of impact and methods for mitigation of the sediment impact.

Maps and checklist on site suitability for mussel farming

Based on modeled growth potential for mussels obtained in the project and available data on multiple conflicting interests and physical, biological and legal aspects of the site, maps of multi-criteria site suitability for mussel farming including a checklist for the most important aspects for site selection will be delivered for use in marine spatial planning.

Guidelines for mediating social acceptance of mussel farming

A special effort will be made in relation to social acceptance. In several Baltic coastal areas, local communities have for various reasons been negative towards mussel farming in the coastal zone. In BONUS OPTIMUS we will develop guidelines of how to mediate social acceptance on mussel mitigation cultures based on qualitative interviews, analysis of local media and a questionnaire study.

Transfer of knowledge on mussel farming

BONUS OPTIMUS will result in more stable, secure and cost efficient mussel farming practices through transfer of knowledge from areas with experience in mussel farming (western part) to areas with no tradition for mussel farming (central part) and by developing methods suited for producing maximal biomass at lowest possible costs.