What the mussels do, is not to be paid with money and technically not implementable. That is why natur & ëmwelt started a life project to preserve the thick shelled river mussel in river Our and the Sauer some years ago.
Many people do not even know that there were mussels in all our rivers. Today they still exist, but they have become much rarer. These ancient, slow-moving creatures, which can move only a few centimeters a day with the help of a muscular foot, are particularly characteristic of this: a filter apparatus hidden under the shell, with which the animals filter particles from the water. An adult river mussel, for example, can clean about 40 liters of water per day of particles. The mussels thus get their food from the water body and what they do not use, is deposited on the water surface. Thus many other organisms receive food from the water body, although they themselves can not filter. These animals would be quite hungry without our mussels. Or even absent. Other animals that feed again on these organisms are also starving, for example, fish. Do you like fishing? Would you have thought that the mussels would improve the fish population?
What the mussels do, is not to be paid with money and technically not implementable. Imagine the whole river bed sitting with shells - and so it was, in the past, and every mussel filters 40 L a day! The rivers would be much cleaner, less nutrients come in the sea, because they are caught in the river by the filter feeders. If you are not allowed to bathe the next time on vacation, because there is a dangerous algae bloom, then remember that the mussels could have diminished or prevented this.
Since mussels play such an important role in the river, natur & ëmwelt has launched a LIFE project to preserve the mussel in the rivers Our and Sauer. In this project the habitat of this mussel species is improved by various measures and young mussels are cultured, to be released later. Since Luxembourg has committed itself to the fact that the populations of river mussels in these two rivers, which lie in the Natura 2000 area, must not deteriorate, the project helps to meet this goal.