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April 21, 2016

Mussels, mussels, mussels!


After having a few days in port, due to rough weather we woke up this morning, excited to go to sea again. Sadly we were met by Michael from Sea-U who had bad news for us. The wind had picked up again, and we could see the waves building up outside the harbor. The conditions were still too rough to work with the ROV, so what could we do? It took us little time to decide: Send in the divers!

With no hesitation, the dive team packed up and went out to search for a sheltered area around Saltholm, a flat sandy island located just north of the Øresund Bridge, connecting Sweden and Denmark. Due to Saltholm’s rare habitats and importance for a number of sea birds and seals, it has been designated a Natura 2000 area.

Sadly there was no shelter to be found, which forced the divers to continue further south. Here in the shadow of the bridge they managed to tie the boat to a pylon and make the first and only dive of the day. Under the water they were met with clear water, effectively filtered by dense beds of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) covering the seafloor and the base of the pylons. On them grew colonies of hydrozoans (Clava multicornis) and shoals of two-spotted goby (Gobiusculus flavescens) was hovering next to the pylons to avoid the strong current.

When the divers returned and were asked what they had seen, the answer was short but clear: “Mussels, mussels, mussels!”