Optimisation of mussel plots for Producers' Organisation of Mussel Culture
Producenten Organisatie Mosselcultuur
The Producenten Organisatie Mosselcultuur (Producers' Organisation of Dutch Mussel Culture) is the sector association to which all bottom mussel farmers in the Netherlands are affiliated. The aim of the association is to look after the interests of its members and to provide services efficiently. The Mussel Culture Producers' Organisation has 89 mussel farms as members.
Communicating with stakeholders
One of the agreements in the mussel covenant is to gradually reduce mussel seed fishing. This places extra demands on the quality of the available mussel plots. This led to an optimisation and reclassification of the mussel plots in the Eastern Scheldt and Wadden Sea. The Mussel Culture Producers Organisation asked for our help with stakeholder communication during the reclassification.
When optimising the mussel plots, individual mussel farmers were encouraged to sacrifice profitable land for better soil. There were several steps in the process of allocating the mussel plots. First of all, all proposals per grower were mapped out and possibilities for allocating or exchanging plots were sought. We also coordinated our plans with the shrimp fishermen. The draft plan of allocation was communicated with the mussel companies beforehand, after which the reactions were inventoried. Ultimately, the plot allocation plan was presented to the General Meeting of Members.
The overall result, a reclassification of the mussel plots, had to be supported in the mussel sector. It was a difficult puzzle involving more than eighty mussel companies and many other stakeholders. We advised the Committee of Allocation on stakeholder communication during this challenging project.
Fishery of the future
A large majority of the mussel fishermen voted in favour of the plan. The working method used was also accurately documented, thus safeguarding the knowledge of the process of reclassification for the future.