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"Aquaculture, not the Internet, represents the most promising investment opportunity of the 21st Century."

- Peter Drucker, Management Expert & Economist


Forsøg med linemuslingesystem giver 9,2 kg per meter

Results being unveiled at today's BIM/IFA Rope Mussel Workshop in the Claregalway Hotel on the trials undertaken on JFC's mussel floats have been described as "astounding" by an internationally renowned mussels production expert. Dr. John Bonardelli, a world-leading independent shellfish production specialist has evaluated and compared the efficiency of the JFC ribbed mussel floats to other similar-sized floats commonly used in the rope-grown industry. The results have been described as one of the most exciting developments in the rope mussels industry in years.

Based on research undertaken with 5 experienced mussel growers in three different coastal counties, JFC mussel floats delivered a harvest ready commercial yield of over 9.2kg per metre for 7,200m of socked mussel line spread over two longlines each of 110 metres in length. According to Dr. Bonardelli, "at best, standard floats allow up to 6-7 kg/m but perform poorly with depth and the results, therefore, substantiate the claim that JFC ribbed-floats can increase commercial yields/meter beyond any previous observations for socked blue mussels." "We clearly demonstrate that rope-grown mussels from longlines using JFC ribbed-floats are more effective in producing higher commercial yields in a shorter time frame, than for mussel stocks with similar histories using other equivalent-volume floats" stated Dr. Bonardelli.

In addition, observations made during the research trials also confirmed anecdotal evidence that JFC-floated lines had:
a) Lower maintenance costs and no float losses over time.
b) No handle defects or breakage where ropes attached to the mainline.
c) Equivalent or higher meat content and shell mass on a range of year classes.
d) Lower new spat settlement (2nd set) than on socks with similar histories.
e) Higher densities in all commercial sizes, reflecting stable growth & limited fall-off.

Dr. Bonardelli believes that the volume of rope-grown mussels could expand in Ireland and overseas, just through the selection of JFC ribbed-floats. He stated that "a consequence of this simple change in floatation quality is higher commercial yields and less wastage, not to mention a reduced need for expansion of new sites". These findings are especially relevant in the context recent reports on the rope mussels industry that call for improved efficiency as a means to improve productivity and profitability within the industry.

John Concannon, Managing Director of JFC, believes that JFC mussel floats provide the ideal solution to increase yield to satisfy market demand stating that "these research results confirm that JFC mussel floats substantially increase yields, reduce crop losses and maximise profits for the mussel-farmer". With a yield of over 9.2kg per metre, the JFC mussel floats provide 1.36kg more mussels per metre than its closest competitor (see Figure 1). In terms of revenue, for a 7,200 m of socked mussel line, this would generate an extra revenue of ?6,854 (assuming a price of ?700 per tonne), which is a substantial revenue increase for any mussel farmer (see Figure 2). Commenting on these results John Concannon stated that JFC mussel floats "have the potential to substantially boost the profitability of the rope-mussels industry whilst simultaneously reducing the number of mussel floats required per site. This should assist mussel-farmers in successfully applying for licenses to produce mussels because it means that the visual impact of a mussels site is minimized, thus addressing a key concern of some regulatory bodies."

According to Mr. Concannon, "the patented stability fin of the JFC mussel floats ensures that our floats have low profiles in the water, causing limited vertical motion and reduced stress on mussels. Reduced stress means that mussels can concentrate on growing as opposed to expending their energy on trying to remain attached to the rope during turbulent conditions. Therefore, mussels grown using JFC mussel floats grow faster, have a higher meat quality and are less susceptible to losses. All of these factors culminate in significantly increased yields over a shorter time period for the mussel-farmer."

John Concannon concluded that "in these turbulent economic times, we need to promote industries such as mussel farming that have the potential to be a strong employer in rural areas and make a significant contribution to the economy both in terms of employment and revenue. This will have a knock-on effect on related industries such as manufacturing and processing and will help to further secure jobs. This is the way to begin an economic recovery. JFC mussel floats have the potential to transform the European rope-mussels industry into a true world leader and we need the support of Government at local, national and European levels to help ensure that industries with strong potential, such as the mussels sector, are given every opportunity to flourish despite the tough economic times we are currently experiencing".

JFC is a market-leading supplier of ISO 9001 accredited plastic products to various sectors including agriculture, construction, water management, marine, health-care & material handling. The company employs more than 200 people at its bases in Ireland, UK, Holland & Poland and exports to over 40 countries. In 2009, JFC won the prestigious IBEC Environment Product award for its CorriPipeT & Stormwater Management products. JFC also supplies a range of market-leading rainwater harvesting systems. Further information on the JFC mussel floats can be found on the JFC Marine website (

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