Comparative performance of the mussels Perna perna and Perna viridis, cultivated at four different depths


  • Marielyn García Instituto Socialista de la Pesca y Acuicultura
  • César Lodeiros Seijo Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral; Centro Nacional de Acuicultura e Investigaciones Marinas
  • Luis Freites Universidad de Oriente; Instituto Oceanográfico de Venezuela
  • Henry Córdova Instituto Socialista de la Pesca y Acuicultura
  • José Manuel Mazón Suástegui Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste
  • José Babarro C.S.I.C.; Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas



Culture depth, Growth, Fouling, Mussel, Upwelling period


This study aims to evaluate the effect of environmental variability on the growth and survival of the subtropical and tropical mussels Perna perna and Perna viridis at four different culture depths in the Gulf of Cariaco during an annual cycle. Juveniles of P. perna (39.1±1.88 mm in shell length) and P. viridis (36.7±1.87 mm) were sown on nylon ropes (3/4") and suspended from a raft at 1, 3, 6 and 9 m depths. Every six weeks, three replicates of each species were sampled (10 individuals per replicate) at each depth. Growth parameters were determined: mass and shell length, dry mass of soft tissues as well as fouling and survival rates. Temperature, transparency, chlorophyll a, oxygen, salinity and particulate organic and inorganic matter were recorded at each culture depth for the purpose of relating growth and survival to environmental change. The results show that the growth of both species was linked to the environment, especially with regard to the influence of the food and temperature. A period of stagnant growth of P. perna was associated with the higher temperature and lower phytoplankton biomass that is characteristic of the season with prevalent water column stratification (August-November 2007). By contrast, the growth of P. viridis did not stagnate, although it was gradual and relatively lower. At the end, P. perna achieved higher growth rates than P. viridis. Possible culture strategies to improve the production of both mussel species are discussed.


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How to Cite

García, M., Seijo, C. L., Freites, L., Córdova, H., Suástegui, J. M. M., & Babarro, J. (2016). Comparative performance of the mussels Perna perna and Perna viridis, cultivated at four different depths. Brazilian Journal of Oceanography, 64(3), 249-262.



Original Article