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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI - Vol. 10 - Feature article #10
The Mediterranean fan worm fouls a line of green-lipped mussels in New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf. The worm can grow to 80 cm long and attain densities of 500–1000 m–2. Photo: Kathy Walls, Ministry for Primary Industries

Tarek Soliman, Graeme J. Inglis


Forecasting the economic impacts of two biofouling invaders on aquaculture production of green-lipped mussels Perna canaliculus in New Zealand


Invasive aquatic species (IAS) are an increasing problem for aquaculture, affecting production and market value. While the investment needed to eradicate or reduce the spread of IAS can usually be quantified, the benefits of early intervention are often less certain. Soliman and Inglis estimate the cumulative economic impacts of two IAS — the Mediterranean fan worm (Sabella spallanzanii) and clubbed tunicate (Styela clava) — on New Zealand green-lipped mussel aquaculture. Combining outputs from an infestation model, and ecosystem energy budget model with partial budgeting and equilibrium models, they estimate the direct impact on producers at $NZ26.4 million for both species over 24 years. Slowing their spread, reducing densities, and enhancing the market position of product could significantly mitigate the potential impacts.


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