More than 50% of the annual worldwide harvest of mussels is produced in Europe. The mussel cultivation in Germany is based on an extensive on-bottom culture and depends entirely on natural resources for food, spat and space. Due to stakeholder conflicts and a lack of spat availability, mussel farmers tend to move offshore where space is not limited and adequate settlement guaranteed. Newcomers – the offshore wind farmers – are covering large areas in the German Bight which in contrast give the opportunity to use these areas in a multifunctional way by accepting mussel cultivation within the wind farms. This study compiles the basic data for offshore mussel cultivation in close vicinity to a designated offshore wind farm in the open sea of the German Bight and employs different case-scenario calculations to illustrate the impact of changing parameter values on overall profitability or non-profitability of this activity. Primary focus is placed on the production of consumer mussels but seed mussel cultivation is also taken into consideration. We show that production of consumer mussels with longline technology is sufficiently profitable even under the assumption of substantial cost increases. This is especially true, if existing capacities could be used. The cultivation of seed mussels depends on the possibility of using existing equipment. A substantial increase of seed mussel prices to at least 0.6 4, given the main cost categories remaining constant, turns this alternative into substantial profitability. This study concludes with providing some recommendations on how favorable terms or actions could further improve profitability of offshore mussel cultivation. Altogether, our results are intended to shed some light on business management topics that future offshore mariculture operators such as traditional mussel farmers should follow in order to be efficient.
MUSSEL CULTIVATION AS A CO-USE IN OFFSHORE WIND FARMS: POTENTIAL AND ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY
Title: MUSSEL CULTIVATION AS A CO-USE IN OFFSHORE WIND FARMS: POTENTIAL AND ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY
December 03, 2010
Journal: Aquaculture Economics & Management
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Buck, B.; Ebeling, M.; Michler-Cieluch, T. (2010). MUSSEL CULTIVATION AS A CO-USE IN OFFSHORE WIND FARMS: POTENTIAL AND ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY. Aquaculture Economics & Management, 14(4), 255-281.