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IFOP mussel larval monitoring program records a new period of competent mussel larvae in the Los Lagos region

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Friday, November 25, 2022, 06:30 (GMT + 9)

Until November 17, 2022, the "Larval Monitoring and Seed Collection Program for Mytilids" led by the IFOP has identified a significant increase in the abundance of competent larvae (pre-seed collection stage of development) of mussels or mussels , which, in territorial terms, have been circumscribed in the areas of the fjord and Reloncaví Sound. During the course of this season (August 2022-November 2022), the areas that have registered a greater abundance of competent larvae, above the threshold of 100 larvae / m3, are the Metri sectors (Abu.max.=1455 larvae /m3), Yates (Abu.max.=1236 larvae /m3), Cochamó (Abu.max.=1090 larvae /m3), Pichicolo (Abu.max.=445 larvae /m3), Bahía Ilque (Abu.max .=169 larvae/m3) and Hornopirén (Abu.max=136 larvae/m3; Figure 1). In all these areas, the rate of increase in abundance of competent larva is higher than that recorded during the previous period (August 2021-July 2022; Figure 2).
Figure 1: Diagram representing the geographical areas with the highest abundance of competent larvae of mussels or mussels.
Figure 2: Inter-annual comparison of the 2021-2022 season with the 2022-2023 season of abundance of competent larvae of mussels or mussels, in the areas of Metri, Yates, Cochamó, Pichicolo, Bahía Ilque and Hornopirén.
In the case of Estero Castro, where last year practically no events of abundance of competent larvae of mussels were recorded, which directly affected the collection of seeds, this year a positively different situation is evident, since to date there has been registered a maximum of 34,000 pre-competent larvae/m3 and 58 competent larvae/m3 (Figure 3), which corresponds to 260% and 820% more larvae, respectively, compared to the maximum registered in the previous season.
Figure 3: Inter-annual comparison between the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 seasons of abundance of pre-competent larvae (D larvae + Umbonada larvae) and Competent larvae (eye larvae) in Estero Castro.
The IFOP Researcher, Cristian Segura, comments that "we are very happy with the records of larval abundance of mussels for this 2022-2023 season, but at the same time we are expectant of the results of the collection of seeds both in collectors that supply the mussel industry as well as the incorporation of new recruits in the natural beds. In this sense, a good seed collection season could be expected, but at the same time, progress must be made in collection efficiency in the context of avoiding potential landslides from the collectors as much as possible, through productive strategies (eg. thinning or unfolding of collectors) and commercial (eg sales of seeds in the smallest sizes possible)”, said the researcher.
For her part, the IFOP Researcher, Macarena Herrera, pointed out that "we are in constant communication with mussel farmers and Subpesca, who have shown great interest in our results, which they can follow permanently, graphically and interactively, through our viewing platform, which is publicly available at www.ifop.cl (banner: Mytilid larva monitoring). Our work team will continue to work hard on the larval monitoring plan for mussels and environmental variables at the 12 stations in Los Lagos, 3 stations in Aysén and 1 station in Magallanes, as well as in the evaluation of seed collection in Yates and Estero Castro”, said the professional.
"Although this is a permanent Program of the Undersecretary of Fisheries, it does not seek to predict catches or indicate suitable dates, the effort is made to periodically report the results through the platform where interested parties can consult." mentioned José Videla Cofré, collaborator of the Larval Monitoring Program led by IFOP.


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