E-17-02 Large-scale culture methods for blue mussel seed production in Maine and the Northeast: experimental laboratory & field trials

Brian Beal
Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research


Demand for mussels in the Northeast exceeds the current domestic supply. In 2015, nine million pounds of live mussels were imported from farms in Canada, especially Prince Edward Island. This represents about half of the U.S. market, and demand is projected to increase by nearly one-third in the next decade. Seed production (larval or juvenile shellfish provided to commercial aquaculturists for “grow-out”) is the main factor limiting expansion of mussel aquaculture in the United States, in part because the success of capturing wild seed or “spat” varies widely in space and time. Using a combination of laboratory experiments and field trials, Beal will evaluate different methods of collecting and culturing mussel seed (including cryopreservation or freezing) at a large scale, and compare the efficacy of different ropes used for settling larvae.


Two-year project, NOAA Sea Grant National Strategic Initiative in Aquaculture funds: $249,238