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tHE project


Blue or common mussels (Mytilus edulis) are a bivalve mollusc found globally, but are especially common along the coast of the British Isles. They are sessile (do not move) and they attach themselves to the seabed and other structures using fibers called byssus threads. Declines in the last several years have led to them being added to the OSPAR conventions list of declining habitats. Our aim is to help increase the population of this species along our coastline.


Another species found along the coastal areas of the Tees estuary are Horse Mussels (Modiolus modiolus). This species can grow up to 20cm and are typically found below the low water mark. The large beds formed by horse mussels are known to be an important habitat and food source for a wide array of species. Similar to blue mussels they face a number of threats and have been noted as a habitat of priority.

Why Restore

Mussels are filter feeding meaning they remove particles from the water column which helps clean our coasts. Mussels can filter over 60L of water each day, which is around 240 cups of tea. Mussels also act as a food source for a variety of different coastal species including other invertebrates (including crabs), fish (flounder and dab), and several birds, whilst providing habitats for many more.

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