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Fisheries > Culture Fisheries > Mussels

Predation and Competition

Mussels are susceptible to predation by fish (snapper and leatherjackets), crabs and starfish. However, if mussels are grown in areas where there is a natural spat fall, then fouling by mussel spat becomes a major problem. Growth is inhibited by competition for space with other sessile organisms such as barnacles, tunicates, bryozans, algae, native oysters and tube dwelling amphipods, which are also filter feeders and reduce the food available to mussels. Although not harmful to the mussels themselves, growing areas may occasionally suffer from outbreaks of harmful toxic algae, which the mussels consume. When this occurs, the mussels are unfit for human consumption.

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