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Research Into Horse Mussel Reef Restoration

NORTHERN IRELAND - Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Michelle O'Neill, has welcomed the publication of a report into the restoration of Horse Mussel reefs in Strangford Lough.

The report was the result of a three year study by Queen's University Belfast.

Minister O'Neill said: "The research team is to be congratulated for their efforts to survey the remaining Horse Mussel reefs in Strangford Lough."

"The project established artificial reproduction of this species for the first time and has given us a level of detail of the former distribution of the species in the Lough which will help focus future work."

"It is encouraging to record some improvement in the southern basin of the Lough. However, it is clear that some positive intervention is considered necessary for the Horse Mussel beds to return to Favourable Conservation status."

"I will discuss with stakeholders possible measures to give additional protection to the remaining Horse Mussels in line with the report's recommendation."

The Minister added: "This project is not just about one species - the Horse Mussel . It is about restoring an ecosystem in Strangford Lough that will benefit marine life in the Lough and help to restore a sustainable fishing industry."

the Fish Site Editor

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