Common mussels. Photo: Per Dolmer

Shellfish and seaweed

DTU Aqua’s research into shellfish and seaweed focuses on the production of healthy food in a sustainable way and the ecosystem services provided by shellfish and seaweed production

DTU Aqua’s research into shellfish and seaweed production takes place at Danish Shellfish Centre. The research has a special focus on promoting sustainable production of shellfish and seaweed in order to provide healthy food products and ecosystem services. The Danish coastal waters are generally very eutrophic, which gives specific opportunities and challenges for the production of shellfish and seaweed. Thus, production under eutrophic conditions is of central importance in our research. 

Main themes within the shellfish and seaweed research

The research into shellfish and seaweed has three main themes:

  • Shellfish and seaweed production 
    We explore how the natural resources in coastal waters can be sustainably exploited through aquaculture production of mussels, oysters and seaweed. This includes a large spectrum of activities from shellfish bottom culture to hatchery production of oysters and seaweed species.

  • Ecosystem effects 
    We have focus on the environmental impacts associated with the exploitation of the marine resources such as ecosystem services provided by shellfish and seaweed farming in highly eutrophic areas. We have particular focus on the use of shellfish and seaweed farming as a tool to mitigate effects of eutrophication as direct nutrient removal as well as indirect effects like e.g. increased water transparency and negative effects like e.g. increased sedimentation under farm units.

  • New marine protein sources and blue growth
    Special focus is on the development of new marine protein sources such as starfish and seaweed to be used as feed or to be included into biorefinery processes extracting valuable components. Our main focus is on the primary production, i.e. on production/fishery of the new sources. 

Why do we do research into shellfish and seaweed?

The overall goal of DTU Aqua's research on shellfish and seaweed production is to help to ensure the sustainable exploitation of shellfish resources in the Danish waters. There is a need for research that will help develop the sector while ensuring that production meets both national and international environmental requirements.

What is the research used for?

DTU Aqua's research on seafood production is used for ecosystem-based advice to the authorities involved in the management of aquaculture. Our knowledge and research on the functioning of coastal ecosystems and habitats also contributes to environmental management.

In addition, our knowledge and expertise in this area is available for commercial use and converted to a large extent into practice by the profession. 

How do we carry out our research?

DTU Aqua conducts its research into shellfish and seaweed in many ways and at different scales—from large scale mussel and seaweed farming in e.g. the Limfjorden to microscale with microalgae or oyster hatchery processes in the laboratory.

We focus on system-level and real-scale production level and a large part of our research is done on real-scale experiments in the field, but controlled experiments are also conducted in our laboratory facilities especially for research on shellfish farming.


Danish Shellfish Centre (DSC)

DTU Aqua's research on shellfish and seaweed is carried out at the Danish Shellfish Centre.

Go to DSC's research website


The shellfish and seaweed research has access to facilities on land at Danish Shellfish Centre and in the Limfjorden.

Learn more about the research facilities


Jens Kjerulf Petersen
Ph.+45 61 22 24 29