Summary of the seminar
During the last week of November 2015 the second international seminar about rearing of unionoid mussels took place at the "centre culturel" in the castle of Clervaux.
After the welcome reception on Tuesday evening, with greeting words from the Mayor of Clervaux Emil Eicher, the scientific program started on Wednesday morning. The vice president from natur & ëmwelt / Fondation Hëllef fir d'Natur Claude Meisch gave a short introduction to the international audience about the area and the work of natur & ëmwelt.
The first session started with an introduction talk from Prof. Dr. Jürgen Geist from the Technical University of Munich about the necessity of supportive breeding. Talks about the first steps of freshwater mussel development on the gills of their host fish followed. After lunch the second sessions chaired by Dr. David Zanatta from the Central Michigan University highlighted some genetic aspects which can be considered for captive breeding followed directly by a few talks dealing with more technical aspects of freshwater mussel culture and some experiences made with different techniques used. After the last talk the poster presentation followed up and closed the first day.
The second day started with an overview of the long history of mussel propagation in the USA given by Prof. Dr. Chris Barnhart from Missouri State University and led over to the presentations of some long term experiences in rearing the freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera. Furthermore rearing projects from France, Germany and Virginia were presented. During session IV in the afternoon chaired by Dr. Evelyn Moorkens from the republic of Ireland mussel projects from UK and Sweden were given. The presentation of a movie about the thick shelled river mussel project "ucforLife" in Sweden closed the scientific program. The rest of the evening was reserved for the social program including the visit of the the UNESCO Memory of the World Photo Exhibition: The Family of Man by Edward Steichen and the official seminar dinner.
On the last day Dr. Karel Douda from Czech University of Sciences in Prague chaired the last sessions with interesting talks about the habitat requirements of Unio crassus in Bavaria and two talks about freshwater mussel projects in Portugal and Spain.
Before the audience left by bus to the visit of the rearing facility at the mill of Kalborn, the LIFE Unio team gave a short presentation about the work done at the mill of Kalborn. Having arrived at the mill, lunch was served and the scientist could walk around and became explanations about the different rearing systems used at the mill of Kalborn. With the return of the Bus to Clervaux in the late afternoon the seminar ended.