Is blue mussel farming a potential mitigation tool to combat eutrophication in the Baltic Sea? A synthesis based on stakeholder interviews
Sammanfattning: The Baltic Sea is the most polluted sea in the world. Its hydrological conditions and ongoing eutrophication are a high threat for marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Additionally, eutrophication has negative effects on the wellbeing of countries and their societies in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). Actions to mitigate eutrophication in the Baltic Sea have been implemented through on-land measures in the last 40 years. Although the improvement in the marine environment is notable, it happens very slowly. In order to combat eutrophication, there is a need for a combination of on-land and in-situ measures. In this study, blue mussel farming practices are presented as one of the in-situ measures to combat eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. Blue mussel farming has been implemented in Sweden since the 1980s and has potential to not only mitigate the amounts of nutrients that accumulate in the sea but also brings a circular approach to resource use. In this study, stakeholders from four different sectors that are closely related to blue mussel farming practices and Baltic Sea issues have been interviewed with the aim of making a comprehensive analysis of stakeholder perceptions of blue mussel farming practices in the BSR. Interviewed stakeholders represent four different sectors - academia, entrepreneurs, municipalities and NGOs. A comprehensive analysis of stakeholders’ perceptions on blue mussel farming practises from environmental, social and economic perspective is presented. All interviewed stakeholders are actors in Sweden and represent Swedish perspective on blue mussel farming activities. Potential causes for different perceptions across sectors are discussed.
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