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Study says whelk is well suited to aquaculture

NORWAY - Research on the storage of live whelks at different temperatures is un derway by Fiskeriforskning. The findings should determine if whelk is suited to capture-based aquaculture production.

Whelk grounds are spread along the Norwegian coast, and capture-based aquaculture of the shellfish is required prior to transportation to land-based processing facilities. However, experience shows that mortality rates can be quite high before the whelks reach the facilities.

Survival rates are better in winter than summer, which raises an important question: does water temperature affect the success rate of storing whelks?

Fiskeriforskning has been asked to investigate the theory by the Fishery and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund. Researchers are testing the storage of whelks in water at temperatures of 4, 10 and 15ºC. And results show that after 12 weeks, the mortality rate was extremely low.

Experiments have also beencarried out on the dry storage of whelks for a three-day period at temperatures of 1, 4 and 8ºC, which produced extremely good results.

"The whelk is well suited to capture-based aquaculture," says Senior Researcher Sten Siikavuopio.