Shengsi-produced mussels. [Photo/WeChat account: zjzsrbs]
Zhoushan in East China's Zhejiang province held the first academic conference to explore the sustainable utilization and protection of mussels on May 7.
Mussels are an ancient life form with unique properties and have become an important research subject around the world.
They have strong research, ecological, and economical value, and sea areas in Zhejiang are the main production areas of thick-shell mussels, with an annual production of more than 200,000 metric tons.
Shengsi county in Zhoushan is reputed as the "hometown of mussels" as it harbors 1,200 hectares of mussel-farming area and produces over 140,000 tons of mussels per year.
Yan Xiaojun, Party secretary of Zhejiang Ocean University in Zhoushan, recently published his latest findings on mussels.
Yan said that farming mussels can significantly increase microbial diversity in surrounding sea area, which can help promote the creation and storage of ocean carbon sinks.
An ocean carbon sink, the opposite of a carbon source, is an ocean mass that can absorb carbon - most notably carbon dioxide - from the atmosphere.
Yan also talked about his predictions for the new uses of mussels' endogenous urea molecules, which can form a repair layer on the surface of mussels' shells if they are damaged.
Other experts, including Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering Bao Zhenmin and Professor Li Jiale of Shanghai Ocean University, also delivered reports at the forum.