NIWA Northland Marine Research Centre conducts trials to look at the retention rates, feeding rates and habitat structure preference of New Zealand’s economically important aquaculture species green lipped mussels. The mussel spat (baby mussels) are collected from the coastlines of 90 Mile Beach where they are then transported to the research center and put into holding tanks with a variety of structures for the mussels to hold onto. The mussels are fed live algae twice a day. This algae is made onsite, with 1 million algae cells per 1mL feed to each holding tank. Once each experiment is finished, mussel growth rates and abundance of spat on the structures is analysed by aquaculture scientists.
For Erin and I, our time here at NIWA has come to an end. Our three weeks have been packed full with learning, working alongside the friendly staff and fishy fun! Both of us have thoroughly enjoyed our time here and thank all the staff for their warm welcome and giving us such a rich experience of what you do on a day to day basis.