In the WIN@sea project, we are investigating the possibility of cultivating different species of seaweed in the Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm, and we are also examining the feasibility of cultivating blue mussels in the area. Therefore, we are working on collecting mussel spat, which is the tiny larvae of blue mussels.
Mussels are reproduce by females and males releasing their eggs and sperm into the water when the water temperature reaches about 10 degrees Celsius. This typically starts in April/May, and spawning continues until August. The eggs are fertilized in the water and develop into small swimming mussel larvae. The mussel larvae settle on surfaces where they can anchor themselves, and thus, within mussel production, special woven bands with a rough surface have been developed – or ropes – which are well-suited for capturing mussel spat.
In June, a buoy has been put out in the offshore wind farm with a 3-meter-long woven rope at 5 centimeters wide. The rope hangs under the buoy, 1-4 meters below the water surface. With the rope, we hope to catch mussel spat, and we have an expectation that it will succeed, as blue mussels naturally grow in the area – both on stone reefs and on the wind turbine foundations.