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Big Float E10 | Searching For Pacific Oysters As Part Of A Research Project

In Klosterbugten at Nykøbing, Pedro Freit as and his colleagues pull a floating pontoon filled with orange-coloured baskets towards the shore near MorsøMunicipality’s administration building.

Method: Twenty-seven square meters of Klosterbugten baywas searched for Pacific oysters as part of a research project.

NYKØBING: InKlosterbugten at Nykøbing, Pedro Freitas and his colleagues pull a floating pontoon filled with orange-coloured baskets towards the shore near Morsø Municipality’s administration building.

Emma Toftelund Poulsen

They have walked approximately 100-meters out from an excavator in the water, which has an extended arm and has been placed on a floating undercarriage.

Pedro Freit as is a senior researcher at the Danish Shellfish Centre, which is currently conducting a research project to investigate methods to remove the invasive species of Pacific oysters. An excavator was thus in action in Klosterbugten where it excavated the Pacific oysters, while employees of the Danish Shellfish Centre placed them in baskets, brought them ashore, and weighed them before they were transported to the Danish Shellfish Centre for further investigation.

The area is monitored afterwards

– We need to investigate how effective this method is and how much we gather.   Do we gather animals other than Pacific oysters at the same time, and are the living Pacific oysters destroyed when we use this method, or can they be used afterwards?  Naturally, we will also monitor the area afterwards, adds Pedro Freit as.

The excavator was used to excavate three areas in Klosterbugten.  Each area was nine square meters and they differed in terms of how many Pacific oysters were present and how close they were to each other.

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Sharp reefs

Pedro Freitas says that it is almost impossible to eradicate Pacific oysters in Limfjorden, and using an excavator in the water is not a cheap solution either, but his immediate assessment is that it can be beneficial in areas with a high density of Pacific oysters, and particularly where they have an adverse effect on the ecosystem or on people.

– The Pacific oyster can grow in many layers, almost glued together, and they thereby form reefs. These can become very sharp, so it makes sense to remove them, for example where people bathe or swim, explains Pedro Freit as.

Pernille Nielsen, a researcher at the Danish Shellfish Centre, could not yet say how many kilos of Pacific oysters had been collected,but a large part of them were dead shells.

 – But we can already see now that only a few shells have been damaged by the machine”, says Pernille Nielsen, who adds that the Pacific oyster competes for food and space with other native species such as blue mussels and Limfjord oysters.

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Kasper Lenda Andersen (left) and Pedro Freit as (right)from the Danish Shellfish Centre worked both on land and in the water.

On land, the Pacific oysters were weighed and collected in a large, blue box, which was then driven to the Danish Shellfish Centre for further investigation.

Employees from the Danish Shellfish Centre pulled baskets filled with Pacific oysters ashore after the excavator had lifted them from the bottom.

An excavator was digging for Pacific oysters in Klosterbugten in Nykøbing in connection with a research project being conducted by the Danish Shellfish Centre. The excavator’s bucket is designed as a type of grate, so that much of the material from the seabed is filtered out.

A company called Sloths Naturpleje owns the excavator, which has been equipped with an extended arm and is mounted on a floating undercarriage.

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