June 2015
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Juvenile mussels have been found in the mussel beds we restored in 2013. These mussels are around 35 mm long and would most likely have settled into the beds  rather than having been transported there with the adult mussels when the beds were established.
We demonstrated the cleaning power of mussels to the 34 thousand attendees of the Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show. Visitors to our booth (both old and young) were impressed, one young girl asked “are mussels like vacuum cleaners” and another left wondering “why don’t we have them everywhere” … why indeed :D A big thanks to the Boat Show and Legasea for their support.
2014 BEDS
The 2014 beds are much larger than those restored in 2013. Divers found them to be less dense (as designed) but to have formed an interesting network pattern as the mussel’s link together and carpet above the soft sediments.
Have a look at this animation we produced of mussels filtering muddy water. We have also tried using spirulina (mussels feed on algae) and live algae but the mussels were more visually effective at clearing dirty water. Mussels don’t eat the sediment but bind it up in mucus on the seafloor where invertebrates and bacteria can then process it further.
A very large log was washed into one of our first beds last year. It does not seem to have had any detrimental effects. Many mussels have used their byssal threads to climb up the structure, spotty and goatfish seem to now prefer this mussel bed!
Conversations with those that remember the historic mussel beds often turn to the size of the mussels. The shell pictured above may have been 20-30 years old when it died, it was found with others near the newly restored mussel beds. The historic photo above also shows the size of the mussels harvested (before the fishery collapsed) many looking as big as the fishermen’s feet!
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19371110-49-4
We have made t-shirts with Samantha Gilmour’s beautiful mussel illustration. They are available in black & white and a range of different styles here.
A recent guest editorial in Australian journal Ecological Management and Restoration suggests restoration of marine environments has been ‘off the radar’. It suggests five elements are needed to take efforts up to ecologically, socially and economically meaningful scales. Revive our Gulf is keen to learn from international experience and contribute to a marine restoration ‘movement’ in New Zealand.

Copyright © 2015 Mussel Reef Restoration Trust, All rights reserved.

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