April 2014
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The mussels have matted together over a once barren seafloor and been colonised by a range of marine species. “After some initial mortality and some expected predation by starfish and snapper, the remainder have survived really well". Click here to view the full size before and after photo.

Trial beds
Seven tonnes of green-lipped mussels were deposited off eastern Waiheke Island mid December 2013. Checks by divers have confirmed their successful positioning on bare seafloor. The project’s research director Shane Kelly said the mussels were dropped by mussel barge and form seven, dense, “living room” size trial plots within an embayment. “We will be looking to see if these beds attract spat and smaller mussels to form sustaining reefs.”
Living demonstration
Revive our Gulf creative advisor Shaun Lee added a mussel to a glass of Tamaki River water and found the effects striking. See picture. It has prompted a series of aquarium trials to assess the potential of a public installation to raise awareness of the project. 
Auckland University partnership
We have partnered with Auckland University who have committed a PHD student (Mark Wilcox) and resources to research the re-establishment of the mussel beds. Mark is being supervised by Professor Andrew Jeffs from the Institute of Marine Science at the University and Dr Shane Kelly from the Trust. Mark's research will investigate mussel survival, and the effects of bed size on mussel colonisation and the development of marine communities within the beds.
We have released the first dramatic pictures of the recovery of mussel beds in the Hauraki Gulf. They reveal a vibrant community of fishes and starfish living among the seven tonnes of supermarket destined green-lipped mussels laid as trial plots in December. Fish like triplefins and spotties, starfish and invertebrates are colonising the beds and making it home, in stark contrast to the surrounding barren seafloor.
Click the photos below to see the high res versions.
Industry synergies
The first trial plots for the Revive our Gulf project were made possible through the provision of surplus mussels, harvested by North Island Mussels Ltd. Revive our Gulf has begun a series of discussions with mussel producers to assess the potential of utilising harvested mussels that due to size or other factors are unsuited to markets. Being able to relocate healthy mussels to further trial sites may enable the project to fast track its research and restoration programme.
News of the Revive our Gulf mission has prompted requests for information from iwi, community groups and local boards. The group’s priority is to continue to establish and study trial plots to prove a restoration technique for sub-tidal green lipped mussel beds. In time it hopes to transfer this know-how to other groups. Overseas oysters and ribbed mussels are being reintroduced to help improve the quality of harbours and estuaries.

Copyright © 2014 Mussel Reef Restoration Trust, All rights reserved.

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