BLH: Farming Green-lipped mussels

Green-lipped mussels (kūtai, Perna canaliculus) are endemic to New Zealand. Discover how these mussels are farmed, and how a tiny parasitic crab affects the mussel industry. - http://www.biotechlearn.org.nz/focus_stories/farming_green_lipped_mussels
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Biocontrol of the New Zealand pea crab -  Oliver Trottier and Jessica Feickert (Leigh Marine Laboratory) have been working to understand the biology of the New Zealand pea crab, which is a parasite of green-lipped mussels. Using this knowledge, they hope to develop biocontrol strategies to limit pea crab infestation on mussel farms.

Biocontrol of the New Zealand pea crab

Green-lipped mussels (kūtai, Perna canaliculus) are endemic to New Zealand. Discover how these mussels are farmed, and how a tiny parasitic crab affects the mussel industry.

Farming Green-lipped mussels - Green-lipped mussels (kūtai, Perna canaliculus) are endemic to New Zealand. Discover how these mussels are farmed, and how a tiny parasitic crab affects the mussel industry.

STUDENT ACTIVITY -  In this activity, students play a card game that models the journey of a male pea crab (a parasite of green-lipped mussels) from his mussel host and back again.   Purpose:  This activity will help students to grasp one aspect of pea crab biology – the risky journey of a male pea crab (a parasite of green-lipped mussels) to locate a female crab in another mussel and fertilise her eggs. The card game works as a model of the mate location process.

STUDENT ACTIVITY - In this activity, students play a card game that models the journey of a male pea crab (a parasite of green-lipped mussels) from his mussel host and back again. Purpose: This activity will help students to grasp one aspect of pea crab biology – the risky journey of a male pea crab (a parasite of green-lipped mussels) to locate a female crab in another mussel and fertilise her eggs. The card game works as a model of the mate location process.

STUDENT ACTIVITY - In this activity, students use a paper-based Venn diagram to illustrate the key similarities and differences between how wild and farmed green-lipped mussels live.  Purpose This activity will help students to explore the life cycle of green-lipped mussels and to research the methods by which they are farmed in New Zealand. It provides the opportunity to use a Venn diagram to organise information graphically.

In this activity, students use a paper-based Venn diagram to illustrate the key similarities and differences between how wild and farmed green-lipped mussels live.

Green-lipped mussels are New Zealand’s major aquaculture species. In this interactive, Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) describes the key stages in farming green-lipped mussels. Click on the arrow (bottom right) to hear Andrew discuss some of the challenges faced by New Zealand’s mussel farmers.

Green-lipped mussels are New Zealand’s major aquaculture species. In this interactive, Professor Andrew Jeffs (Leigh Marine Laboratory) describes the key stages in farming green-lipped mussels. Click on the arrow (bottom right) to hear Andrew discuss some of the challenges faced by New Zealand’s mussel farmers.

Life of a pea crab -   The New Zealand pea crab (Nepinnotheres novaezelandiae) is a parasite that spends its adult life within a mussel shell. However, the larval stages of its life cycle take place in the open ocean.

Investigating how pea crabs affect supermarket mussels - In this activity, students observe green-lipped mussels to determine the impact of pea crab infestation on their size and weight.

STUDENT ACTIVITY: In this activity, students observe green-lipped mussels to determine the impact of pea crab infestation on their size and weight.  Purpose This activity will enable students to identify key characteristics of two native New Zealand animals and to understand their parasite-host relationship more clearly. It provides opportunities to consider how green-lipped mussels are farmed in New Zealand and how threats to the industry (such as pea crabs) impact on New Zealand’s economy.

In this activity, students observe green-lipped mussels to determine the impact of pea crab infestation on their size and weight.

New Zealand’s green-lipped mussel industry  Green-lipped mussels are New Zealand’s major aquaculture species. This information sheet explores how green-lipped mussels are farmed in New Zealand, the way that the industry has developed and the challenges that mussel farmers face.

New Zealand’s green-lipped mussel industry

Testing how pea crabs affect mussel farming  New Zealand pea crabs are known to damage the green-lipped mussels they live in, but what impact do they have on mussel farming in New Zealand?  Oliver Trottier (a PhD student at Leigh Marine Laboratory) wanted to answer this question. He carried out a study of a green-lipped mussel farm and found that mussels that contained pea crabs were about a third smaller than their crab-free neighbours.

Testing how pea crabs affect mussel farming

Getting into and out of mussels -   The male pea crab leaves the safety of his green-lipped mussel host when it’s time to mate. He’s looking for a mussel that contains a female crab who’s also ready to mate – but how does he know which mussels contain females? And how does he avoid getting killed as he searches?

Getting into and out of mussels


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