The GATE Project

Growth performance and detoxification of mussels cultured in a fjord enhanced by forced upwelling of nutrient rich deeper water,

In the Lysefjord located in western-Norway we have  conducted the first full-scale experiment using submerged brackish water discharged in a controlled manner to force upwelling of nutrient-rich deeper water. In the GATE project we examine how the enhanced phytoplankton production generated from these nutrients can efficiently be exploited to mitigate algal toxicity and increase meat yield in mussels cultured for human consumption.

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The project plan and methods

The project consists of five activities:

  1. monitoring the fjord environment and succession of phytoplankton assemblage including toxic algae,
  2. mussel growth experiments
  3. toxin elimination experiments
  4. mussel feeding and bioenergetic experiments
  5. modeling growth and toxin elimination processes using Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory.
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Historical background

The idea of bringing nutrient rich deeper water in fjords up to the euphotic zone to enhance algae production was mentioned already in the 1960s by Professor Kristian Wiborg at the Institute of Marine Research. In the 1980s researchers at the University of Bergen conducted mesocosm experiments, investigating how nutrient rich deeper water brought to the surface layer affected phytoplankton production and succession (Aksnes et al., 1985).

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Øivind Strand
Tel: +47 55 23 63 67

Tore Strohmeier
Tel: +47 55 23 68 97